Sotheby’s Middle East Newsletter

April 2020

Although we are not currently able to welcome you into our Dubai office at this moment, we want to assure you that we remain fully available to you and contactable while working from home. We can be reached on

Sotheby’s global business continues to operate as normally as possible, with a number of very successful sales held in recent days demonstrating the resilience of the global art market. Last week’s auctions of Jewels Online and Watches Online were 97% and 86.5% sold by lot respectively. 85% of lots in Thursday’s Banksy Online prints sale achieved prices above their high-estimates, and the sale was 96% sold by lot overall.

We continue to offer a wide range of services, including auctions, Private Sale opportunities, online valuations, and lending through Sotheby’s Financial Services. Given the increasing preference of many clients to engage with us in digital formats to discover, explore and bid on art and objects, we are confident we can continue to deliver exceptional service and sales to our clients around the world.

We would be delighted to provide advice and valuations, for auction or private sale, on any relevant works within your collection.

Katia Nounou, Director, Head of Office, Sotheby’s Dubai


Last week Sotheby’s 20th Century Art / Middle East sale broke several world auction records for artists including Syrian artist Naim Ismail, Algerian artist, Mahyeddine Baya, and Moroccan artists, Mohamed Melehi and Farid Belkahia with Morocco’s modernist master Mohamed Melehi soaring to GBP 399,000 / USD 487,339, nearly seven times its estimate.

The Orientalist Sale, now in its ninth season, closes for bidding tomorrow and brings together paintings and sculpture representing the landscapes, people, and customs of North Africa, Egypt, the Levant, Arabia and the Ottoman world during the 19th and early 20th centuries. From depictions of worship, to bustling street scenes and fascinating views - some still recognisable, others long lost - the sale provides a fascinating insight into the region as it appeared a hundred and more years ago.

The Arts of the Islamic World & India sale will now take plan on 10 June and will showcase art and literature that emerged throughout the varied civilisations which flourished under Islamic patronage from the seventh to nineteenth centuries, including Qur’anic and secular manuscripts, Persian and Indian paintings, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery, weaponry, and textiles.

Private Sales

Even in uncertain moments, like the one we find ourselves in now, there are still many collectors who wish to sell or invest in art. Sotheby’s David Schrader, head of private sales, shares the many ways he and his team can help clients every day. “Collecting doesn’t only happen four times a year at auction – it really is a year-round activity,” he says. “Our clients are interested in purchasing the best objects at the best prices whenever they are available.”

Sotheby’s Financial Services

Sotheby’s Financial Services is the world’s only full-service art financing company. With our in-depth knowledge of the international art market, we can provide a timely and accurate valuation of your collection, then offer you a tailor-made financing solution.

From the Archives: Stories to Enlighten, Inspire and Delight

We know many of you are home right now as the world confronts this global health crisis. Art can offer an excellent escape and source of inspiration, and so we searched our archive for some of our favourite stories and videos from the past few years. We hope you enjoy reading and watching these stories as much as we enjoyed creating them.

How to Bid Online at Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s leads the industry in providing simple and secure ways to bid. In the video above, learn about the features that make bidding online at Sotheby’s easier than ever. Discover how to place your bids — on your smartphone or computer — from almost anywhere in the world. To learn more about bidding at Sotheby’s, watch our video.

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