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Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Arts Biennale Will Return in January 2025

As the only biennale dedicated to Islamic art, last year’s showcase welcomed over 600,000 visitors.

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Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Arts Biennale Will Return in January 2025

Saudi Arabia’s second Islamic Arts Biennale will open on January 25th, 2025, according to the organisers from the Diriyah Biennale Foundation. It will take place at the Western Hajj Terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, beneath vast outdoor canopies spanning 110,000 square metres, and will remain open for four months.

As the only biennale dedicated to Islamic art, this year’s event will be building on the success of the first iteration, which attracted approximately 600,000 visitors and lasted a month. Like last year, the event will showcase a range of artwork, workshops, lectures and more.

Consisting of five galleries, the 2025 Islamic Arts Biennale will include a curated exhibition of contemporary art, as well as historical artefacts. Makkah and Madinah, two of the most significant cities in Islamic culture, will be celebrated at the event with their own pavilions.

An international curation team has been recruited for this year’s showcase, including Amin Jaffer, director of the Al Thani Collection, Abdulrahman Azzam, author and historian who worked on the Al Madar team in 2023, as well as Julian Raby, who also worked on the inaugural biennale.

Muhannad Shono, a Saudi artist known for his thought-provoking work on imagination and reality, has been named as this year’s biennale Contemporary Art Curator. He represented the Kingdom at the 59th International Venice Biennale in 2022.

A sustainable prayer space will be designed by the winner of the Al Musalla Prize international competition. Architects from the UAE, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the UK are among the finalists, and the winner will be announced later this year.

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