Our reputation for sourcing and selling the finest cultural artifacts from across eras and geographies has been carefully nurtured over decades, often in partnership with distinguished families, foundations and estates. This has allowed us the privilege of bringing our clients in the region some of the most highly sought-after arts and objects, from Modern and Contemporary art, to cars, jewellery, fashion and diamonds to watches from around the world to market. Furthermore, our ongoing research into historical Arab, Iranian and North African art offers clients an unparalleled degree of knowledge and expertise in this exciting sector of the global art market.
Sotheby’s Middle Eastern experts can also share with clients the latest, industry-leading levels of market insights and emerging trends, advise on smart collecting across sectors and get the facts on emerging technologies, such as NFT and virtual platforms.
Our Dubai office in DIFC is a year-round hub of activity, welcoming visitors with a programme of selling and non-selling exhibitions, events and talks, reflecting the spectrum of Sotheby's international sales and extensive client services. Our dynamic team is often found at major cultural events and maintaining key partnerships across the MENA region.
In celebrating the best of the year’s cultural events and exhibitions taking place across the Islamic world and beyond, this year and into the future, Sotheby’s invites you to join us and become part of our ongoing story in the Middle East.
Islamic Arts Biennale
Sotheby’s is proud to be one of the official supporting partners of the inaugural Islamic Arts Biennale in Saudi Arabia, presented by the Diriyah Biennale Foundation. This is a unique opportunity to engage with an inspiring collection of historic items from across the Islamic world, spanning architecture, design, and historic visual art to specially commissioned contemporary art and installation. The biennale site at Jeddah’s iconic King Abdulaziz Airport has been imaginatively re-purposed for the event which will run over 12 weeks, opening on 23 January and closing on 23 April 2023.
For more information, please contact Mai.Eldib@sothebys.com
An Exploration of Modern & Contemporary Arab Art
On 12 March, Mai Eldib (Sotheby’s Middle East Head of Sales) will give a historical overview of modern and contemporary Arab art over the course of the 20th century, touching on the key movements and artists across the region.
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What’s on in Dubai
This Spring, Sotheby's Dubai will exhibit an exclusive collection of exotic luxury handbags, on view as part of our Luxury Private Selling Exhibition.
Art Fairs & Cultural Moments
The art world calendar for the Middle East and North Africa kicked off in January with the inaugural Diriyah Foundation Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah. With other key cultural events taking place over the coming months, we list our highlights from across the region that are not to be missed.
- The Islamic Arts Biennale
- Sharjah Art Biennale
- AlUla Arts Festival
- Alserkal Art Week
- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
- Abu Dhabi Book Fair
The Islamic Arts Biennale, 23 Jan–23 Apr2023 began with the globally-acclaimed Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah, the first event of its stature to take place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Defined by a focused curatorial vision, this assembly of art, antiquities, architecture, design, installation, textile and numerous meditations on Islam over the centuries, offered visitors an unprecedented panorama of cultural history and ideas.
As a co-presenting partner to the event, Sotheby’s was honoured to collaborate with the team behind the Biennale, with a group of in-house specialists featured in the Biennale’s programme of talks, offering guests guided tours and interactions.
Sharjah Art Biennale, 7 Feb–11 JunInspired by the late Okwui Enwezor and curated by Hoor Al Qasimi (Director of Sharjah Art Foundation), Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present (SB15) is the Middle East’s pre eminent arts biennale, having built a stellar reputation amongst art aficionados worldwide for its thoughtful programme and parallel evolution alongside the booming growth in the UAE. This edition of the biennale reflects on Enwezor’s visionary work, which transformed inclusivity in contemporary art in institutions and biennials around the world.
AlUla Arts Festival, 16 Feb–16 MayThe theme for this year’s AlUla Arts Festival is ‘Living in Colour’ which reflects the multi-arts offering on view in this impressive historical site. In its second year, the Festival features an Artist in Residence programme, an Arab Posters exhibition and an Andy Warhol exhibition, which includes artworks, installations and video, on view until May.
Alserkal Art Week, 26 Feb–22 MarThe bi-annual art week takes place at Dubai’s major arts and cultural district, Alserkal Avenue, with a host of contemporary art exhibitions, talks, open studios and tours designed to engage and excite visitors from near and far.
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, 17–19 MarTaking place at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit until 2027, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will take place across 17-19 March and is a sporting event not to be missed.
Abu Dhabi Book Fair, 22–28 MayADIBF is a global platform for creative content based on language in its global context. ADIBF 2023 is expected to attract more than 150,000 visitors with the participation of 1,130 international, regional and local publishing houses from 80 countries. Scheduled events are also expected to attract more than 1,000 speakers from more than 40 countries from around the world.
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