DUBAI – Art Dubai celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. It is an art scene that has come of age, with the fair's regulars continuing their loyal presence and supporting the growth of the region's art production through their interest and patronage. The blue skies, the azure sea and the warmth in no way detract from the artworks that lure collectors into the belly of the purpose-built conference centre.
ALI AKBAR SADEGHI, UNTITLED, AT SHIRIN GALLERY.
97 galleries from around the world converge on Dubai at this time of year, bringing hugely diverse artistic expressions and redefining the meaning of 'international.' While predominantly known for its regional art, Art Dubai firmly retains its reputation as one of the leading fairs and provides a platform for artists that have ridden on the wave of an extraordinary rapid growth curve.
ADAM HENEIN, UNTITLED.
It is hard to sum up this year's key points: the Modern section with its Frieze Masters' vibe continues to show some wonderful works of well-known regional modern masters; Leila Heller Gallery as always presented some eye-catching pieces, having now established itself on the Dubai scene with a grand and brand new space that includes art by Zaha Hadid, Wim Delvoye and now YZ Kami. Moiz Zilberman has several well-priced offerings by Walid Sitti, and Meem Gallery, moving firmly away from calligraphy, is now showing the interesting Jeffar Khaldi.
SYED SADEQUAIN, DETAIL, AT GROSVENOR GALLERY.
The noticeable feature of this year's edition was the number of events and functions. One visitor commented that the fair was now rivalling Basel in the sheer number of parties. Canvas Magazine celebrated its 12th annual dinner, and Sothebys its 9th Collectors' Lunch (on the same day as three other lunches!) bringing together the great and the good who uphold and support the fair's mission. Harper's Bazaar Art, Sotheby's media partner for its travelling exhibition of 20th Century Arab and Iranian sale, and Alchemy, Objects of Desire, covered our events, signalling the importance of the region for our sector.