Abu Dhabi: Artists, galleries, collectors and many others from the international and regional art world have once again returned to the capital for the second annual Abu Dhabi Art, which started on Thursday and will end tomorrow.

Organised by the Tourism Development and Investment Company (Tdic) and the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture (Adach) and held under the patronage of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, this year's boutique art fair will include exhibitions, workshops, talks and debates, and more.

"The Abu Dhabi Art platform helps us achieve Abu Dhabi's cultural ambitions by engaging the community in the city's cultural and artistic development and also helps widen the professional skills and knowledge base we are cultivating in Abu Dhabi," Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, Managing Director, Tdic, said.

International dealers

"Abu Dhabi Art is also encouraging the growth of the art market in Abu Dhabi and the UAE and an essential component of that is bringing together international art dealers and experts from around the world to one place where they can discover the vibrant emerging art scene here," he added.

This year's art fair compromises of 50 galleries, including two non-profit foundations, and it has expanded to include workshops for adults and children as well as various activities and discussions, such as Opening the Doors: Collecting Middle Eastern Art, an exhibition of Middle Eastern art, which includes works by artists in the region from the last 80 years and which were donated from the private and corporate collections of art patrons from across the UAE, the region and the world.

"Abu Dhabi Art is much more than an art fair; this is a fundamentally new concept…it is a platform compromised of myriad elements, never before brought together in such an environment," Rita Aoun Abdo, Director, Cultural Department, Tdic, said.