Abdulrahman Zainal expresses his ethical and political vision in his work, aiming not to depict his subject matter realistically but rather to portray its narrative context.

Zainal’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation (1992); Al Ahli Club, Dubai (1992); Lancaster Hotel, Hyde Park, London (1980) and Dubai High School (1973). His work has also been featured in group exhibitions such as 1980–Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates, UAE Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale (2015); yearly exhibitions of the Emirates Fine Arts Society, Sharjah and the inaugural UAE art exhibition (1972).

In 2000, Zainal’s painting Modern Shipbuilding was designated the UAE winner of a global painting competition and was exhibited in London. He was the recipient of the second prize for both Environment Day (1998) and Expressive Faces (1998), and he also received the Golden Dana Award, Kuwait (1998).

Zainal holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cairo College of Fine Arts (1978) and undertook postgraduate studies at Edinburgh Fine Arts College. He was born in 1951 in Dubai, where he continues to live and work.