Board & Management

The Art Centre organisation with an elected Board drawn from the membership. Our mandate is to make art available to all ages, abilities and nationalities. Our day to day activities are managed by a full time team based at the Centre.

The Board

Consists of nine elected art centre members who agree to serve on a voluntary basis for a period of two years. The Board makes sure that the Centre continues to make art instruction, learning and exhibitions available to the widest audience through its courses, its art network and it's Gallery.

Diyali Bhalla: Chairperson

Born in India, Diyali Bhalla graduated with a degree in science. She then moved on to receive a diploma in fashion design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (FIT) in New York.

For ten years Diyali has been running her own business in high fashion stores across the world. She relocated to Dubai in 2004 and has since then been involved in free lance design work, art events and teaching. She is teaching fashion and art at Dubai International Art Centre since 2006 and she has served on the board of directors for the past 6 years.


Karan Dhawan: Finance Director

A seasoned finance and senior management professional with immense practical experience in managing all aspects of manufacturing entities in the ME. He has, over the years made an effective and measurable contribution towards achieving significant  KPIs resulting in business growth and success for major multinational in the Middle East region, thus demonstrating in depth knowledge of the prevalent business, commercial and regulatory environment in the ME region. Karan is a chartered accountant from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Karan is on the board for the past 4 years.

Esre Kannemeyer: Gallery Director

Esré Kannemeyer moved to Dubai twelve years ago, from Cape Town, South Africa. She holds a BMus degree and has been teaching music in schools across Dubai for most of her time in the UAE. 

She loves to travel and explore new destinations and recently commenced with a degree in Art History and Creative Writing. Esre has served 2 years on the board as Gallery Director. 

Fiona Petrocelli: Exhibitions Director

Fiona Petrocelli originally from US, has been in Dubai for the last 8 years and she is an active board member working with different local charities to bring more public attention to DIAC and its faculty.

She is currently working with Dubai Foundation for women and children, Al Maktoum Foundation and Awladouna Centre for People with Disablities by teaching them canvas art with the help of DIAC art teachers..

Mr. Khalil AbdulWahid: Development Director

Khalil Abdul Wahid’s artistic career began under the tutelage of Hassan Sharif, in Al Marsam Al Hur – the atelier Sharif set up in the 1980s. Abdul Wahid was so inspired by this privileged learning experience that he made a dual commitment to develop his own practice and to pass on knowledge acquired to the next generation.

To that end, he took on teaching roles in the atelier before assuming his current position as Visual Arts Manager at Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. This role facilitates his involvement in diverse projects to cultivate the UAE’s artistic community, from grassroots initiatives through to institutional efforts.

This dedication to education and artistic development initially meant his personal practice took a lesser priority. However, he has still managed to carve out two distinct paths – painting and video. His paintings are recognizable through their strong use of colour on dark backgrounds. His experimental video works construct visual metaphors to express ideas related to his culture and environment.

He has been exhibited in group shows regionally and internationally including ADMAF’s ‘Portrait of A Nation (Abu Dhabi 2016 – Berlin 2017), FotoFest International’s ‘View From Inside’, USA/Abu Dhabi (2014–15) and ‘Sharjah: Art from the Emirates’, National Museum of Denmark (2010) as well as many of the annual exhibitions by the Emirates Fine Arts Society.

Zareen Khan: Cultural Director

Founder of Woman2Woman, which is a specialized Events& PR Management firm in the UAE. Established in 2009 – w2w Events is a network of close to 15k women who are Freelancers, Home Businesses, Entrepreneurs, Artists, Designers, and Professionals including established Business owners.

She believes in gender equality and works in the region to promote and offer platform to various professional organizations, companies, Brands, and individuals. Over the years, w2w has conceptualized and created various genres of events to cater to this ever growing market.

Woman2Woman’s core belief is to always to voice positive messages and concepts through our events. Here are examples of some of W2W’s most unique events:-

  • Monthly Business Networking events

  • FFA (Fashion For All) – the only Plus size Fashion show.

  • Women of the Desert – Art and Fashion Show – which represents Artists and designers – who don’t discriminate – and to stay true to our point – we hosted this show with models with disabilities.

  • Against the tides – an Art show catered for the beginners and Amateur artists in the region.

  • Art Nation – An event that showcases all genres of Art including Performing Arts.

Zareen is also the conceptual Director and host for an online TV Show:

Started in 2016 – Coffee Confessions is one of the regions only online TV show, season 1 is available online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkCVxs9Meos

Season 2 of Coffee Confessions to air on September 2017.

W2W has been dedicated to promote talent and to conceptualize creative campaigns and events that make a positive impact in the region.

Hina Bakht: Marketing Director

Senior MARCOM executive with 24 years’ experience in marketing and communications. Strong all-round ATL & BTL marketing experience in the Middle East (based in Dubai) spanning from agencies to journalism and corporate communications. Proven track-record in business management having held senior General Management positions. Entrepreneurial in spirit with deep understanding of corporate and business affairs capable of positioning products and companies in competitive market environments as well as driving and accelerating revenue through robust marketing.

• General Management

• Business Development

• Marketing Strategy & Consultancy

• Media Planning (Digital & Offline)

• Brand Development & Positioning

• Creative Direction

• Public Relations

• Content Development, Writing & Presentation

• Social Media Strategy & Management

• Events Management

• Customer Relationship Management &

Loyalty Programmes

• Hospitality

• Travel & Tourism

• Real Estate

• Banking & Finance

• Technology

• Fashion & Beauty

• Art & Culture

• Healthcare & Wellness

• Automobiles

• Consumer Goods (FMCG)

Awards & Recognition:

2007: 50 most special women in Middle East

2008: Unique brand identity for Coral Hotels & Resorts

2010: HMH award for excellence for outstanding marketing

2010: Best E-commerce marketing operation by MKG

2011 & 2014: Most Innovative stand at ATM

2017: Best corporate communication & events in the UAE by global media

Valentine Spasov: Operations Director

Born 1967 in Bulgaria. graduated from Academy of Music and dance art Plovdiv Bulgaria. Master in Music from University of Plovdiv Bulgaria, Guitar Mentor, Composer, Performer, Executive Director of JV Music Consultancy, Director in Chief & Music Director for Danube Classical Guitar Orchestra.

Full time guitar teacher since 1989.

1989 2000 guitar teacher and member of the Angel Kanchev community centre -Ruse Bulgaria.

2000- 2006 Guitar Teacher at Yamaha music school PMI Dubai

2006 2011 Guitar teacher at Centre for musical arts Dubai.(DUCTAC)

2011 up to date Guitar teacher JV music consultancy which he is a founder.

Valentin Spasov is an author of two books and a CD published by Balkanota Bulgaria

Based in Dubai since year 2000.

Sahira Ameen: Centre Manager.