Michael Arnold


b. 1952 – Philadelphia, PA.
Lives and works in Dubai, UAE; NY, USA; Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Mike Arnold has lived in the Middle East for 16 years and during that time led an architectural practice that was involved in creating some of the region’s most iconic buildings. He was delighted with the challenge of bringing the grand visions of the rulers to life, to set new standards and create what was previously believed to be impossible. In 2012 he completed his career in architecture to pursue a lifelong passion for painting and exchanged his drawing board for an easel and his design office for an artist’s studio. He now paints in studios in New York City and Philadelphia, and spends most of his time in the historic Dubai area of Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood (formerly Bastakiya) where his studio is alive with his art and activities of Mawaheb students.

Mike paints scenes inspired through a deep connection to the region’s richness: its history, its people, and its dramatic nature. He uses his canvases as a platform for interpreting the atmospheres of life’s experiences in the Middle East, exposing the unique light reflected both in common as well as spectacular landscapes and personal moments. His paintings are structured to bring forward the feelings of distant images to the power of the present space.

Undulating desert landscapes, powerful Arabian stallions, and life portraits of the wizened and weathered adventurer fill his portfolio. In his work he chases their light and captures it to reveal their essence, and their hard earned lessons.

Drawing upon a 40 year long career in architecture, his detailed perspective references the constancy of structure while his early and ongoing training in classical art enriches strong foundational elements with color, light, movement and meaning; the confluence of each style calls forward experiential visions of life.


1975 BA Architecture, Penn State University, PA, USA.
1976 MS Master of Science, Architecture, Penn State University, PA, USA.
Registered Architect, PA, NJ, and NY, USA.
Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA)


2013 – 2019 SIKKA Art Festival Bastakiya, Tashkeel Group Exhibition, Dubai, UAE.
2019 Made in Tashkeel, Tashkeel Gallery, Nad Al Sheba, UAE.
2018 Chasing the Light, Showcase Gallery Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, UAE.
2016 Polo: The Dance of Pony and Player, Baker House Gallery, East Hampton, NY, USA.
2015 Beyond the Architecture of Art, Showcase Gallery, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, UAE.
2014 From the Art of Architecture to the Architecture of Art, Showcase Gallery, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, UAE.