Within weeks, Art Dubai will put on what is arguably the first real-life exhibition on the global arts circuits since the pandemic upended the international arts calendar.
Dubai remains open and Art Dubai has adapted its programme to put on a safe event; the first major international art fair to cancel due to COVID-19, Art Dubai is also the first one back.
Mindful of the prevalent regulations and to ensure the highest COVID-19 safety protocols, the year, the fair that will take place March 29 to April 3 moves to a new location at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in a purpose-built venue that will offer a secure, safe and flexible environment for participants and visitors.
Held in the strategic partnership with Dubai Culture, Art Dubai 2021 will feature 50 leading Contemporary and Modern galleries from 31 countries, showcasing a diverse selection of artworks, artists and practices, reflecting the multicultural identity of art world.
Alongside galleries from major and emerging international art centres, visitors will encounter galleries from across the Middle East and South and East Asia, including from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, India, Vietnam and Philippines and a strong representation from across the African continent including galleries from Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and Tunisia. Ten of Dubai’s top galleries will also take part, reflecting the growing market and rapidly developing scene of the Emirate.
The new 2021 location will allow visitors to experience Art Dubai’s wider programme across the district, offering them the possibility to enjoy social events but in a more spread out, safe environment.
“In-person events are the heart and soul of the art world and ours is a sector that has — like so many others — been significantly impacted by the events of the last 12 months,” says Art Dubai’s Artistic Director, Pablo del Val. “As we begin to navigate our way out of the pandemic, we feel a keen responsibility to do everything we possibly can to support the artists, galleries and many service providers who depend on a vibrant and dynamic global commercial art sector.”
In addition to offering a platform for inspiration, creativity and intellectual stimulation in a climate when people need it most, by going ahead, Art Dubai aims to provide much needed source revenue to the arts & culture sector and wider events industry, which includes shippers and contractors — one of the worst affected by the pandemic.
Evolving their model to meaningfully meet the evolving needs of the sector, Art Dubai has also announced a number of innovations for the 2021 fair. These include a collaborative new partnership with exhibiting galleries, whereby participation costs are partly based on sales, and a Remote Participation Programme that will support those galleries who are unable to travel to Dubai in person, by using new technologies to connect them digitally with fair visitors who are discovering their artworks in person.
Technology will also ensure Art Dubai 2021 is safe for all. Their new app will allow guests to book their visiting hours in advance, ensuring effective crowd management whilst supporting the prevalent track and trace initiatives.
“The city of Dubai has strengthened its position as a strategic crossroads thanks to ambitious fine art projects in the Middle East,” says Nathalie Obadia, founder of the Paris and Brussels based Galerie Nathalie Obadia. “Art Dubai has become an essential fair in the region and one of the few to be held this spring, it was vital in relation to the promotion of our artists to be at this rendezvous.”
Go online to discover the Art Dubai 2021 featured galleries and stay up to date on the Art Dubai app launch.