Everything you need to know about region's largest celebration of art
Time Out Dubai staff
It’s the region’s largest art fair and is set to bring works by more than 500 artists to one huge location in the heart of our city. Find out what to expect from the four-day celebration of talent old and new.
Whether you’ve never set foot in a gallery or could spot a fake Mona Lisa at a hundred paces, Art Dubai offers the chance to polish your understanding and appreciation of art in its many mediums. Taking place at Madinat Jumeirah from Wednesday March 19 to Saturday 22, Art Dubai offers the unbeatable chance to see works by more than 500 artists from more than 80 galleries from over 35 different countries – all in one place. Since the fair first began eight years ago, it has welcomed more than 200,000 visitors, and the organisers are hoping that this year will attract even more than last year’s impressive 25,000-strong crowd.
For the first time in its eight-year run, the fair is divided into three distinct gallery halls, titled Contemporary, Marker and Modern. Contemporary is the international part of the show, with around 70 galleries from across the world participating and exhibiting works for sale. You can expect to see galleries from destinations ranging from Jeddah, Casablanca, Jakarta and Seoul to Paris, Berlin, New York, London and Dubai, to name just a handful. This extraordinary collection of art was chosen by international specialists through a stringent selection process, ensuring you’ll get to see some of the finest works on the planet.
The Marker section represents Art Dubai’s commitment to cultural diversity and history, and this year is focussed on Central Asia and the Caucasus. With some of the most influential and important artworks from the region forming part of the exhibition, you’ll enjoy the rare opportunity to see and learn about the culture of the Caucasus and the relevance of Central Asia to the Muslim world and the Middle East. Curated by art collective Slavs and Tartars, this part of Art Dubai will feature five exhibitions as well as educational and research initiatives.
Brand new to this year’s event is Modern – a special section entirely dedicated to art from the twentieth century. Concentrating on the Middle East and South Asia, the content has been selected by a committee of some of the world’s leading experts and is promising to offer a chance to ‘identify the ways in which artists working across this region, still nonetheless share common ideas’, according to the fair’s director, Antonia Carver.