The National Pavilion UAE has issued an open call for proposals to curate the UAE’s upcoming exhibition for the 19th International Architecture Exhibition (Biennale Architettura), at La Biennale di Venezia, which will run from May to November 2025.

Potential curators – including architects, designers, artists, historians or researchers with experience working or studying in the UAE, Middle East, North Africa, or South Asia (MENASA) regions – are invited to submit a concept proposal for an exhibition that showcases an untold story from the UAE, while reflecting the La Biennale’s reputation as a platform for the dissemination and exchange of ideas. Concept proposals should present an exhibition theme with a clear narrative that contextualizes a research idea that resonates with local, regional, and global industry discussions related to architecture and our lived environment.

Applications are open to everyone including non-UAE residents. Applicants will need to demonstrate local expertise, experience, and understanding when submitting their proposal.

The International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale is one of the most awaited events on the international architectural calendar. It is an ideal platform to raise awareness about the importance of the UAE’s national heritage underlining its centrality in shaping our national identity. This participation is an opportunity to highlight the efforts of various local authorities who have contributed to the spread of the UAE’s heritage on a global level.

H.E. Sheikh Salem Al Qassimi, the UAE Minister of Culture and Youth

“Over the years, National Pavilion UAE has been showcasing innovative ideas, projects and research that have drawn international attention to the country’s valuable national heritage. In the hope that the UAE’s participations over the years have accomplished their goal, we renew our commitment to foster more innovative architectural practices that will enhance the country’s position as an incubator and accelerator for creative ideas. Our current participation is a testimony to the UAE’s unwavering efforts in the field of heritage preservation to become a leading player on the international artistic and cultural map.” H.E. added.

“In Plain Sight: Scenes from Aridly Abundant Landscapes,” co-edited by Faysal Tabbarah and Meitha Almazrooei.
Photo by Kathleen Hoare

“We take each opportunity of our open call process to broaden our reach and invite new voices to tell the next untold story from the UAE at La Biennale. For our 2025 pavilion we are searching for stories that explore, investigate, question our built environment, and reflect on the important questions of our time. ,” said Laila Binbrek, Director of the National Pavilion UAE. “Proposals that are experimental yet process driven and solution based are usually well viewed by the selection committee.”

Applications will close at midnight UAE time (GMT+4) on 24 September 2023. Selected finalists will be invited to present a full proposal for the second round of the process. Full details and submission guidelines are available on

Photo by Ismail Noor of Seeing Things

Over the years, the National Pavilion UAE has participated in five exhibitions at the Biennale Architettura. The current exhibition, Aridly Abundant, curated by Faysal Tabbarah, investigates what architectural possibilities can become possible when we reimagine arid landscapes as spaces of abundance. The exhibition is on show until 26 November 2023, and a virtual tour of the exhibition is available to view on the National Pavilion UAE website.

National Pavilion UAE – La Biennale di Venezia’s participation in the Biennale Architettura started in 2014, and in 2021 saw it win the Golden Lion for best National Participation.

For further information on previous architecture participations please visit

The National Pavilion UAE is commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and supported by the Ministry of Culture and Youth.

For more information on the participation of the UAE at La Biennale di Venezia over the years and the open call process, please visit or follow the National Pavilion UAE on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.