The Majlis Gallery is unarguably the cornerstone of the affair that’s blossomed between Bastakiya and art. A labor of love that dates back to 1978, the gallery began life as expat Alison Collins’ family home, slowly opening its doors to a motley crew of creative acquaintances, amateur artists and professional painters. Living up to its Arabic name, the gallery soon became a relaxed meeting place for artists and art lovers. The fabled Villa Number 19 could well be credited with laying the seeds for an artistic journey in this city, one that today manifests itself in such headline-grabbing projects as Art Dubai.
Majlis is home to a fascinating array of media with collections ranging from acrylics and calligraphy to lithography, photography, sculptures and of course, paintings. A much-coveted affair, the gallery’s Artist In Residence program has allowed global artisans to stay, live, breathe and create while being immersed in the potent flavors of Arabia from this unique vantage point. Over the years, the Majlis has done exceptionally well in bringing over artists of international standing, showcasing some exceptional works from the likes of Emily Gordon, Morteza Darehbaghi, Nitin Dadrawala and Sacha Jafri.