Since intrepid, Middle Eastern art-loving expat Mona Hauser launched XVA (named after its house number) in 2003 it has become one of Dubai’s most loved cultural destinations and a catalyst for the arts movement in Dubai. XVA promotes and inspires the work of regional and international artists. Top artists exhibited include Moussa Tiba, Farideh Lashai, Halim Al Karim, and Nadim Karam. The gallery is housed in a delightful restored merchant’s house, with its own windtower and shady courtyard – artists often use the gallery as an atelier and stay, the result being the cool boutique hotel now attached. There’s also an excellent café (Gordon Ramsay is a fan) and eclectic gift shop.