Local Artventures Abroad

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DESTINATION  X ATHR GALLERY

Discovering Saudi artists while traveling around the world.


The Saudi artists have always held a mesmeric power in their ability to shine a spotlight all over the globe. In a world where indulging in our passion has become second nature, Jeddah’s Athr Gallery has played a significant role in building the contemporary art scene in Saudi. By valuing exploration of new ideas; Athr Gallery is promoting the artists’ role in the creative process and the impact they can have on local communities.

Here are 5 Saudi artists that you can discover while galavanting around the world:

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Reem Al Nasser

Walking Through Walls, Gropius-Bau, Berlin

Reem was born in 1987 in Jeddah and currently lives and works in Jizan. She received her BA from Jazan University and completed her residency at Delfina Foundation, London, 2017.

Reem Al Nasser’s work is enlightened by personal experiences and close observations of movement, mobility and cultural change within her surroundings. Reem’s aphoristic and undeviating sensory installations capture and cast back the tension of unsettling complexities within the themes she explores.

She focuses on practical social sciences as well as metaphysical ideas about time, space, and history.

Instagram: reemalnasser33

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Muhannad Shono

The Caliph Seeks Asylum, Galleria Civica d’Arte
Moderna (GAM) Sculpture Garden, Torino

Saudi artist Muhannad Shono’s work challenges old beliefs through the narration of new stories using ink, paper, sculpture, music, and film. He draws from myths, historical and religious narratives in order to reevaluate the past and its impact on our present.Muhannad Shono was born in 1977 in Riyadh and graduated from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals with a degree in Architecture.

Muhannad’s work has been acquired by The British Museum in 2017, Art Jameel Foundation, and AlMansouria Foundation in 2018.

Instagram:  muhannad.shono

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Nasser Al Salem

Amma Baad, Casa Arabe, Spain

Nasser studied calligraphy at the Holy Mosque in Makkah and achieved an Ijaza certificate; the highest form of recognition and authorization to transmit the art of calligraphy. He is the co-founder of Al-Hangar,
an artist collective based in Jeddah, as well as a member of the National Guild of Calligraphers and an active fellow of Saudi Arabia’s Arts and Culture Group.

Instagram: studionasseralsalem

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Ahaad Alamoudi

Colour Bar at Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah

Born in 1991 and raised between England and Saudi Arabia, Ahaad lives and works in Jeddah. She graduated from Dar AlHekma University in Jeddah with a BA in Visual Communication in 2014 and graduated with an MA in Print from the Royal College of Art in 2017.

In her research about Saudi’s reforming ethnography, Ahaad’s photography, video, and print installations aim at altering the historical rendition of Saudi Arabia.

Instagram: ahaadalamoudi

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Bricklab

Absolem, Alserkal Venue, Dubai

Established in 2015 by Jeddah-based architects Turki and Abdulrahman Gazzaz, Bricklab is dedicated to the analysis of the design discipline as it connects with the social, political, economic, and cultural networks that implicitly form our environment.
Bricklab Studio has been commissioned by Alserkal Avenue to create an intervention to coincide with the Dubai Design Week. Located at the entrance of Alserkal Avenue (Street 6A), the design transforms how the public interacts with the physical environment through a synthetic intervention that funnels visitors through.

Bricklab was announced recently the winner of Hayy:Cinema competition by Art Jameel. Hayy:Cinema is the first non-commercial picture house screening local, regional and international films.

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The competition was launched back in February 2019, and assessment criteria looked for innovative and creative design, sustainable solutions, and technological excellence. More than 100 architects and designers from around the world entered the competition to design a new kind of cinema for Saudi. A renowned international jury evaluated participants’ proposals via a rigorous, ‘blind’ process.

The winning design gave modern day cinemas a revolutionized definition. Inspired by the history of cinema in the gulf, and interviews with Saudi and regional actors, directors and producers, the winning design easily wowed the jury. Besides a 200-seater main screen, Bricklab’s design incorporates an additional community screening room, audiovisual library, archive viewing rooms and educational space.

Instagram:  _bricklab

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Brighten up Your Day!

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Intrigued by the crisp aesthetic and lush greenery behind the glass windows, we decided to try Black Cardamom’s new vegan plates.


Serving up a variety of unique blends, well mastered pancake assortments, and garden-fresh salads, this is the health-conscious person’s dream come true. Their breakfast menu is also divine – we recommend their pancakes, any egg dish really, and their lavender latte. You won’t be disappointed.

Location: Al Andalus Dist., Jeddah
Instagramblackcardamomksa

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Real Power Boost

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Want to grab a quick coffee before work or hang out with friends after work? Do both at All in 7 Cafe.


Whether you’re in the mood for iced or hot coffee, try their specialty, the N7 latte. For a splash of refreshment, have some of their fruity, colorful cocktails like the Universo Cocktail and enjoy a variety of filled doughnuts, tiramisu, and a snickers cake.

Location: Villagio, 2540 King Saud Rd., Al Andalus Dist., Khobar
Instagramallin7cafe

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Savor Mealtime Moments

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Sandwiches followed up by soft-serve ice cream, because who’s counting calories?


This brand new cafe, Auburn, is a must-visit when you’re in Sharqiya. You would enjoy eating the entire selections on the menu, but we recommend trying the Philly cheese steak and chicken pesto sandwiches, or their hot dog. To end your delicious experience, try the caramel or chocolate party soft serve.

Location: Salam Tower, Olaya Dist., Khobar
Instagram: auburn_sa

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All-day Food Hub

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One for the Instagrammers and novelty-seekers, Sors is a vibrant contemporary concept inspired by food markets, serving irresistible treats.


From sweet to savory, it features four different food counters under one roof. A neighborhood café serving coffee, sweet and savory baked goodies, a chef-led concept that offers dine-in, grab-and-go poke bowls and artisanal sandwiches, Sors really scores with its refreshing soft-serves at the Frozen Bar counter.

Location: Welfare Center, Hittin, Riyadh
Instagramsors.sa

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Cravings Satisfied!

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With a Breakfast at Tiffany’s vibe, Lute has recently opened in Dammam and it is a perfect spot to have that morning breakfast before heading to work, or the perfect brunch experience on weekends.


If you have a sweet tooth, the lemon and saffron cakes will definitely satisfy your cravings. Let’s not forget their latest coffee addition, the Ugandan’s espresso Manansi, with a rich flavor, and a hint of dark chocolate and nuts.

Location: Omar Ibn Alkhattab St., Dammam
Instagram: lute.ksa

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Fresh Food Done Right

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Zed offers a menu full of delicious seasonal ingredients.


If you live on healthy food, this is the right place for you, and if you prefer to feast on some incredibly juicy burgers, then you have also found your spot here. The chicken and beef burgers are super scrumptious, along with the healthy salad choices.

Location: An Naim Dist., Jeddah
Instagramzed.ksa

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Latin Social Hub

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Listen up coffee addicts, Jeddah has recently witnessed the opening of a new coffee company called Kiaora, and it’s absolutely smashing.


Freshly brewed coffee you can smell from a mile away is something that really excites us and that’s the first thing we appreciate about this place. Captivating interior, mouthwatering delights, and an overall warm ambiance, Kia Ora promises a unique coffee house experience. Make sure to try their Kiaora Frio and Portuguese tart.

Location: Ar Rawda Dist., Jeddah
Instagramkiaora.sa

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High-Fives All Around

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A modish self-styled purveyor of Lebanese and Turkish street food, Give Me Five offers cozy vibes, good service and, to seal the deal, terrific food.


Visit them during breakfast hours to enjoy a wide variety of real Middle Eastern specialties, or graze from the all-day line-up of mezze, charcoal grills, and desserts, with some refreshing mint tea on the side.

DKSA Recommended: Kofte Lahm with cheese, Shawarma Alsalateen, and Baklava Alharamlak.

Location: The Elite Mall, Prince Abdulaziz Ibn Musaid Ibn Jalawi St., Sulimaniyah, Riyadh
Instagramgivemefiveksa

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A Place to Connect

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The least formal foodie offering at the enormous Fairmont Riyadh Hotel,


Cafe Connect is a casual grab-and-go style spot has a simple menu of pizzas, baguettes, salads, poke bowl and pastries, plus some decent sandwiches and burgers for lush lunchtime meals. Despite its grand surroundings, it’s still very much a café with a warm and cozy ambience, and a bill that won’t kill.

Location: Hotel Fairmont Riyadh, Business Gate, Qurtubah, Riyadh
Instagram: fairmontriyadh

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