Press Release

This Too Shall Pass: Sotheby’s Dubai Joins Forces with the UAE’s Community of Leading Galleries for a Trailblazing Online Auction

By Sotheby's
Presenting Prominent Modernists Alongside a New Generation of Artists to Collectors from Across the Globe

Portion of Sale Proceeds to Benefit the UN Refugee Agency’s COVID-19 Response
Open for Bidding from 18 – 25 June

Marking the inaugural online sale by an international auction house in the Middle East, This Too Shall Pass brings together sixty works from seven of Dubai’s leading art galleries in a project that is the first of its kind.

The sale will offer works by established artists already represented in institutions worldwide alongside rising stars who are starting to make a name for themselves internationally. In line with the UAE’s cultural mission, the selection will promote artists from the Emirates and beyond to a new generation of art lovers around the world. Viewed together, the works in the auction will open a window into the boundless cultural landscape of the region, for collectors at home and across the globe.

A collaborative initiative by the galleries of the renowned and vibrant cultural district Alserkal Avenue, the partnership spans Lawrie Shabibi, The Third Line, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Carbon 12, Green Art Gallery, Leila Heller Gallery and 1 x 1 Art Gallery.

The auction will be open for bidding from 18 – 25 June, with 10% of the galleries’ proceeds to be donated to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)’s response to the pandemic’s impact on refugee families and children across twenty countries in the MENA region. Working closely with governments, partners and communities, UNHCR is focusing on protecting forcibly displaced populations to ensure that health, water and hygiene systems are quickly adapted and scaled up, as well as providing urgent cash-based assistance to those experiencing additional economic distress.

"Sotheby’s has long been at the forefront of the UAE’s cultural endeavors, introducing artists from across the region to new global audiences. During these unprecedented times, working together with these galleries feels like a natural partnership, as we use our extensive digital reach and online presence to amplify their initiatives and create new collecting opportunities worldwide."
Ashkan Baghestani, Sotheby’s
"This auction is testament to over a decade of dedication our community of galleries has put in to foster the blossoming art scene in Dubai and beyond. Our spirit of collaboration has been made all the more essential during the pandemic, and it is well and truly evident in this sale. While Covid-19 has touched most of our lives, it has also heightened the suffering of those who are more vulnerable, and that is why a portion of the proceeds will go towards providing essential support to those most in need."
William Lawrie, co-founder of Lawrie Shabibi

So far in 2020, Sotheby’s has seen over a hundred online sales bring in excess of £175 million, more than doubling the full year online sales total for 2019. In March, a sale of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern art was converted from a live to an online auction, totalling $2.7 million, with 60% of lots exceeding their estimates. The auction was led by a radical work from Morocco’s modernist master Mohamed Melehi, which soared to a record-breaking $487,339, nearly seven times its estimate, after 30 bids were placed on the piece.

Sotheby's Dubai presents a vibrant, ever-evolving programme of year-round events, including selling and non-selling exhibitions, events and talks, watches and jewellery valuations – reflecting the spectrum of Sotheby's international sales and extensive client services. For more information please see




London | Melica Khansari|| +44 (0)20 7293 6000

About Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby’s has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries and presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris. Sotheby’s offers collectors the resources of Sotheby’s Financial Services, the world’s only full-service art financing company, as well as Advisory services for collectors, museums, corporations, artists, estates and foundations. Sotheby’s presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including three retail businesses: Sotheby’s Wine, Sotheby’s Diamonds, and Sotheby’s Home, the online marketplace for interior design.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Pinterest | WeChat | Weibo | Youku

* Estimates do not include buyer's premium or overhead premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer's premium and overhead premium and are net of any fees paid to the purchaser where the purchaser provided an irrevocable bid.

Stream live auctions and place bids in real time, discover the value of a work of art, browse sale catalogues, view original content and more at, and by downloading Sotheby’s apps for iOS and Android

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

More from Sotheby's