#ArtGap “Lets talk about the Gender Gap in Art” at World Art Dubai from 3rd till 6th of April 2019

A commendable step taken by Standard Chartered to highlight gender pay disparity with ‘Art Gap’ 

  • Comprehensive global study finds that art by women sells for 47.6% less than art by men*
  • Even where art work was produced through artificial intelligence, respondents consistently ranked works they believe to have been made by female artists lower
  • Women artists will use the Art Gap exhibition as a platform to make a powerful statement by painting 47.6% less

On International Women’s Day and with March being the Women’s History Month, Standard Chartered Bank UAE pledged that it would raise awareness about gender pay inequality and one example of this is in the world of art. This initiative comes also in line with the UAE’s vision 2021 to be one of the world’s top 25 countries for gender equality by 2021.

Rola Abu Manneh CEO Standard Chartered.jpgRola Abu Manneh, CEO Standard Chartered UAE said: “At Standard Chartered we are passionate about promoting equality and committed to driving an inclusive and diverse culture at work. The “Art Gap” exhibition is a great initiative to highlight such an important topic; gender pay inequality. We want others to get inspired by this event and to support the drive for change not only in the world of art or banking but in all industries. I encourage you all to join us and support the cause.”

“Organising this event reaffirms the Bank’s commitment to the national agenda, which aims to make the UAE one of the world’s top 25 countries for gender equality by 2021” she added.

As part of its wider commitment to bridge the global gender pay gap, Standard Chartered signed the Fair Pay Charter in 2017 and announced its pledge to pay men and women equally for the same role. This is in line with the UAE’s vision to advance gender balance. In April 2018, the UAE Cabinet has approved the issuance of the Law on Equal Wages and Salaries for Men and Women to ensure that women have equal opportunities as partners in the UAE’s development.

The hand that rocks the cradle, is the hand that rules the world. Let’s give this hand the value it deserves. World Art Dubai and Standard Chartered have come together to honour women who add beauty to the world through their art and I am happy to lend my voice and be part of this movement that respects each artist without any gender discrimination,” said Batool Jafri, Curator of Art Gap and Emirates Woman of the Year 2018.

B2.jpgAn exclusive interview with Batool Jafri – Curator of Art Gap

What is #ArtGap all about?

Artgap is an art initiative being presented by Standard Chartered Bank at world art Dubai this year and hopefully it will be something which will be taken further internationally. Through a research done at the Said Business School which shed light on the fact that unfortunately female artists are paid only 52.4% of what a male artist is paid for an artwork. On 3rd April a collective of 19 female artists are exhibiting work created especially for this initiative.


Have you had to overcome challenges while curating?

Curating for World Art Dubai has been an immense learning experience for myself. The team is brilliant and extremely supportive. Nidhi and Smriti are a dream to work with and I’ve had the pleasure of working with a team of very talented curators who are all artists in their own. The biggest challenge in my opinion has been time management since I have a day job and with the artgap initiative as well as the curatorial duties i have definitely had to be very disciplined about my time management

What is the biggest misconception about Art?

That it’s for the elite and that only a select few can understand it. I feel art is for everyone, whether you have grown up surrounded by it or whether you are stepping into an art fair for the first time. That’s a key reason why world art Dubai is such an imp event as it allows everyone to feel at ease while being exposed to such a diverse range of work from all over the world.

Initially when I stepped into the art scene, I felt everything about me would be challenging, being a female, Pakistani and an artist who covers. However, with time, the only challenge one has is pushing their own limits and stepping out of their comfort zone.


Your advice to buyers

My advice to buyers is to go for the work that moves you heart and captures your attention. Push your budget if you find sthg captivating because an artwork that speaks to you will bring you joy for years.

Your advice to Artists

My advice to artists is that please always keep in mind your reason for being an artist – the passion for art. Don’t be disheartened by low sales or the commercial aspect of the art life. Stay in it for the long run and you will love the journey.


No campaign or event can be successful without support, I urge all artists, men and women to participate in this incredible initative by Standard Chartered. I cordially invite all art lovers to come to World Art Dubai and show solidarity with #ArtGap.

Let’s be part of the conversation and let’s erase this GAP in ART!


Event Details

  • Dates: The Art Gap will open from 3rd April to 6th April 2019.
  • Individual exhibition World Art Dubai, at Dubai World Trade Centre
  • Timings: 3rd April – open from 2pm to 9pm. 4th to 6th April – from 1pm to 9pm

#ARTGAP Contact:

Wasim Ben Khadra,
Head of External Communications, UAE
Mobile: +971 56 508 0106
Email: wasim.benkhadra@sc.com




The Internationally Recognized “Royal Academy of Dance” exams took place at The Ballet Centre Dubai


 RAD examinations held from 14th till 21st March 2019

On Thursday 14th of March, dedicated students from The Ballet Centre aged 5yrs to 16yrs were awaiting the annual Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) examinations to begin. The Ballet Centre in Jumeirah and Motor City registered 240 students during the week long RAD examinations from 14th till 21st of March.

Naomi Keighley RAD – The Head of Ballet of The Ballet Centre, says “All of our students have worked extremely hard this year towards their ballet examinations. They left the exam feeling a great sense of accomplishment and are now eagerly awaiting their results! The whole experience is something they will take with them into their futures. Witnessing the talent of our students made us all feel very proud.”

Grade 6.jpeg

The RAD is a British association founded in 1920 and has since set the standards of classical ballet. They are a global leader in the training and development of dancers, many whom continue into a professional dance career. Today they have a presence in 84 countries, with 36 offices and around 14,000 members worldwide. More than a quarter of a million students being examined under the RAD syllabi.

Elizabeth Hawkes – ISTD/RAD Teacher of The Ballet Centre, says ‘’These exams are such good experiences and are a real asset towards our students futures. As we say in the dance world, break a leg!

Teachers (From Left to Right)  Elizabeth Hawkes,Tina Crane, Ailsa Baker, Naomi Keighley.jpeg

With such a buzz and success from the recent Ballet Exams, our next upcoming event is the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Tap and Modern Exams. We have students from Grade 1 all the way to Advanced 1 taking exams this April.

The Ballet Centre: Web: http://www.balletcentredubai.com; FB & Insta: theballetcentre (dance school)

For more press information, please contact: Zareen Khan – W2W events & pr – Email: zareen@w2wevents.com052 – 765 5525

Art Dubai 2019 – “Representing the Masters & the Muse”

I recieved a wonderful invitation in my mailer from Art Dubai, it was the 13th edition of this incredibly celebrated Art fair and I was keen to visit to see the art representation at the showcase.


There were 4 gallery sections of ContemporaryModernBawwaba and Residents, the  programme included an exhibition that provided a visual narrative of the UAE through photographs from the private collection of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. 


This photgraph from 1960, captured my attention – Its a Traditional weapon dance (Youla) being conducted by the men in Sharjah, UAE.


I am usually a recluse and avoid opening nights of any art exhibitions. not because I dont love to see the art but because I hate the idea of having to see more people than art. And ofcourse at Art Dubai, the crowd is as eclectic and creative as the art. I found myself constantly distracted by the walking pieces of art. Having said that, I am glad I went; Art Dubai has truly grown over the years and it was remarkable to see Art from all over the globe.



It was nostalgic to set eyes on an M F Hussain as well, the beautifully curated Art Dubai had something for everyone.


I found this sculptor breathtakingly stunning and so relevant; I could feel the weight of the world he was carrying. I think at more than one point of our lives, we all have carried more than we thought we could bare; this piece represented the sheer celebration of the human spirit of our incredible strength and determination. I went around it a few times to see it from every angle and each side looked better than the last; he literally had no bad side!



From sculptors to 3D art, Art Dubai gave everyone something to admire.




For me, Art has always been a voice of the voiceless; and the galleries from Ramallah and Lebanon echoed the resilience of it’s people.




Another lovely surprise was the Saudi Gallery represented at Art Dubai, it was a visual treat and a refreshing reflection of a nation in metamorphosis.



No Art Fair can be complete without some Surreal Artworks and I am so glad this Italian Gallery gave me something to ponder over and admire at the same time.



Lastly, will share some random artworks that held my attention and inspired me to write and share.






As always with any Art work, no pictures or write ups can do it justice, only your eyes can..so please do go see them in person at Madinat Jumeria – Art Dubai is on till 23rd of March 2019. http://www.artdubai.ae


The illuminating “Tree of Life” by Shabir Ahmed Mir at Sikka Art Fair 2019

Tree of light

I had been following Shabir online and was quiet taken back by his posts from the Fahidi district a few days before Sikka Art Fair 2019 was about to kick off, he would be out in the middle of the night adorning a magistic tree with his handcrafted calligraphy letters, each adding a special glow to the already glorious tree and making the site infront of Majlis Gallery in Bastakiya truly stunning.


The Artist & Sculptor at work, creating the magical artwork that truly needs to be seen in person. No words or posts will do it justice, so please do visit this beautiful installation at Sikka Art Fair 2019 – it’ on till the 24th of March at Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.


“Tree of Light”  standing tall and beautifully is commissioned for Sikka Art Fair 2019, under Dubai Culture’s flagship event.


To find out more about the genius Artist & Sculptor behind this illuminating installation, you can follow Shabir Ahmed Mir on Insta: @kashirmir1 / email: kashirm@hotmail.com.


“HER STORY” the Feminine voice of Art


Celebrating International Woman’s day with Artists & Photographers on 14th of March at the Cartoon Art Gallery in Dubai, UAE

On Thursday 14th of March, Woman2Woman will be hosting its first edition of “HER STORY” a story telling Art & Photography Competition at the Cartoon Art Gallery. The theme and premises of the competition is to highlight women’s efforts throughout history in different disciplines.  Artists have been submitting artworks along with stories from their personal experiences; centered around a prominent female character that has inspired their life choices. The Artists themselves on 14th of March will tell these powerful stories from 7:00pm onwards.

The Judges of this competition include the highly celebrated wild life photographers, Nisha Purushothaman & Hermis Haridas; The award winning Irish Painter & Tutor Judy Shinnick & award winning Creative Director & Film maker Kalyan Chakravarthy.

All the artworks & photographs will be exhibited from 14th till 20th of March at the Cartoon Art Gallery. The show opens with the award ceremony on 14th of March from 7:00pm onwards and welcomes all art lovers to attend and support the exhibitors.

Competition Information:

Competition Opening & Award Ceremony: 14th of March from 7:00pm Onwards

Date of Exhibition:  14th till 20th of March

FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/985260778350655/

To rsvp: zareen@w2wevents.com