Open Call – Playscape Commission

Open Call – Playscape Commission

The new Jaddaf Playscape Commission creates a new space for creative enjoyment, imagination and play for all ages. The Commission is a major opportunity for UAE-based artists, designers, architects and collectives to propose and create a monumental, interactive and playful public artwork at the Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park, opening in Fall 2023 for an initial intended duration of around four years. The Commission, devised and curated by Art Jameel, is part of Dubai Culture’s new Dubai Public Art initiative.

The Jaddaf Playscape Commission is in keeping with Art Jameel’s long-term commitment to enabling upcoming and established practitioners to expand their practices; collaborate and work with established institutions, curators and producers; develop challenging new ideas, and create compelling works for the public realm that engage audiences in dynamic ways. 

The Jaddaf Playscape Commission includes a three-part process:

  • Open Call: UAE-based practitioners submit proposals via an Open Call process, which are considered by an eminent jury; 
  • Phase 1: the jury shortlists (around 3) proposals; those applicants are then invited to detail their ideas
  • Phase 2: these enhanced, detailed proposals are then re-presented to the jury, and a single commission is selected for production. 

The commission is part of a new multi-year public art initiative led by Dubai Culture in collaboration with Art Jameel and Art Dubai, Tashkeel, Alserkal and Akaas Visual Arts.

Art Jameel and Dubai Culture invite upcoming and established artists, designers, architects and multidisciplinary collectives resident in Dubai to submit proposals that imagine a playpark-as-artwork in Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park. Located in a pedestrian area by the Jameel Arts Centre building, the Playscape Commission will have a prominent presence, visible to visitors as they access the arts centre, as well as interact with the community of Jaddaf Waterfront residents and visitors.

Applications are now closed.
Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by April 20, 2023. 

Due to the high number of applications, we are unable to provide individual feedback.

The jury includes local and international art professionals, architects and curators, with experience in commissioning and producing interactive works for the public realm.


The commission is open to all UAE-based artists, designers, architects and other practitioners. The Playscape Commission is suited to interdisciplinary collaborations, and collectives are particularly encouraged to apply. Applicants must possess a UAE Trade or Freelancer license, or equivalent. Those applicants shortlisted by the jury in phase 1 will be notified by mid-April and be required to present a more detailed proposal by May 31, 2023. The selected practitioner(s) will be notified by mid-June, 2023. Practitioners are expected to attend a number of site visits in Dubai between May and October 2023 in preparation for the reveal of the commission in Fall 2023. 

Further information for applicants:

  • Art Jameel encourages applicants to consider the site-specific nature of the Playscape Commission, both at Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park and within the UAE at large;
  • Proposals in all media are welcome but are required to include elements amenable to play for all ages;
  • The jury is particularly interested in novel, bold and original proposals that are sensitive and thoughtful to site and context;
  • Applicants are advised to consider the technical and health and safety requirements of a public work of this nature and of the park itself (detailed below);
  • The proposal must preserve and accommodate three existing palm trees and their planters (refer to the detailed plan);
  • Art Jameel is working towards achieving more sustainable exhibition and commissioning practices; we appreciate any considerations taken by applicants towards managing the carbon footprint of their work and its installation.

Tip: Please include as much information and detail as you can, while bearing in mind that Art Jameel’s curatorial and production teams will work with you to develop and adapt your concept for the context, and to build and refine a detailed production budget and timeline.

Phase 2 process:

Applicants shortlisted in Phase 1 and invited to submit a detailed proposal (phase 2) will receive a development fee of AED 5,000.

The awarded practitioner(s) will receive an additional fee of AED 35,000 and a production budget will be attached to the project (co- or wholly-managed by Art Jameel, according to the nature of the selected project and the practitioner’s practice/working method). 

Useful information and considerations:

Materials: Please bear in mind that the work is expected to remain outdoors, in the elements, for at least 4 years, and to be used and touched, including by young children. 

Detailed plan and dimensions of the area allocated within Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park: click here

Application requirements (Open Call, Phase 1):

  • Concept statement (200-500 words)
  • Up to four sketches and diagrams
  • Practitioner’s portfolio and/or CV
  • Estimated budget, proposed materials and production schedule

All application materials are submitted through the following portal here.

The requirements for shortlisted applicants will be detailed during Phase 2.