Founded in 2021 by curator
Munira Al Sayegh.


Munira Al Sayegh is an independent curator and a cultural instigator based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Actively pursuing grassroots incubation, Al Sayegh is the founder of Dirwaza Curatorial Lab, Abu Dhabi’s first curatorial incubator and projects partner. She is also co-founder of Engage101, a collecting and research platform. She is a published author and prominent voice in the region discussing the importance of non-institutional thinking to build regional art movements from the bottom-up.

Al Sayegh curated and developed the programs series for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s The Creative Act: Performance, Process, Presence (2017). In parallel, from 2014 she has joined and pioneered curatorial initiatives across Art Dubai where she curated the Residents section (2019) and started the Now series, looking at non-government funded creative platforms in the region. She recently served as lead tutor and curator for Campus Art Dubai.

Her curatorial solo debut was Bayn: the in-between (2017), the third edition of UAE Unlimited. Later, she curated the Talks Program in Abu Dhabi Art. In 2020, Al Sayegh premiered The Cup and The Saucer commissioned by Warehouse421 (Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Foundation), where she has also led in-house public programs.

Among her contributions, she traces back to NYU Abu Dhabi’s FIND project (2012) and currently sits on the advisory board for the university’s The NYUAD Art Gallery. Al Sayegh is also part of the UAE Ministry of Culture Visual Arts Committee as well as Dubai Collection’s Steering and Curatorial Committee.

Our Team

Dirwaza Lab’s team is a reflection of the growing arts community in the UAE. Our team members have intersected by way of exhibitions, commissions, post-graduate learning programs, social media and (not so) coincidental encounters in creative spaces. We share proximity in age and seek to bridge gaps from the bottom-up, with our generation opening up avenues for youthful, dynamic and contextually-aware collaboration.

Anita Shishani
Dania Al Tamimi
Hessa Al Nuaimi
Photography by Noor Althehli