The Majlis Gallery, opened its doors as an art gallery in 1989. Its mission was to promote the works of artists of international standing and to become a meeting place for creative minds. The gallery has evolved into one of Dubai’s premier fine art galleries, a true haven for artists and art lovers alike.
A Majlis is defined as a meeting place or common ground. Over the years The Majlis Gallery has more than fulfilled that description. Hosting numerous solo and group exhibitions, the gallery has been responsible for introducing many of the regions finest artists to the cultural stage. In a fast moving city The Majlis Gallery has earned its reputation for enduring quality and a reputation for representing the best of local and international artists in a welcoming and unique environment.
A haven for artists and art lovers, The Majlis Gallery grew out of a love affair between an expatriate lady and a very special house. Alison Collins came to Dubai in 1976 to work as an interior designer. She fell in love with the country, especially with the architecture and the ambiance of the old windtower houses in the Bastakia. In 1978, with the help of two Iranian tea importers and an Egyptian curtain maker, Alison and her husband secured the lease on villa number 19, Bastakia, Bur Dubai. Here, over the next ten years, they raised their three young children and played host to many informal soirees in their ‘majlis’, hence the name, introducing artists both professional and amateur to a somewhat culturally bereft community.
The Bastakia, now known as The Al Fahidi Historic Neighbourhood, offers a tantalizing glimpse into a time when Dubai was nothing more than a sleepy trading port, and now, with the opening of the newly renovated houses, presents the Emirate with a vibrant artistic centre.