Every now and then in Dubai, you catch a whiff of initiatives that support the city’s budding art collectors. We’re not talking about galleries that sell art at affordable rates – there are plenty of those – but rather an introduction to a game played by the big boys: the auction. At the highest level, auctions can be competitive, adrenaline-fuelled affairs, intent on exposing your vulnerabilities at the drop of a hammer. Equally frustrating is fighting to get your name on the guest list, which can be about as likely as being invited to a royal wedding. But the Young Collectors’ Auction at Ayyam Gallery on January 18 won’t be quite as exclusive. Instead, expect a stripped-back, casual affair to give new collectors an informal setting in which to bid for works. Here we look at what’s on offer.

Mohannad Orabi
Materials used? Acrylic on canvas.
Price range: Dhs18,366 to Dhs25,713.
Background: Syrian artist Mohannad Orabi, 34, has attracted global attention for his tongue-in-cheek self portraits. His work has been displayed at some of the world’s most revered events on the art calendar, including Art Palm Beach and Art Hong Kong. He is known to paint innocent-like figures in contradicting scenarios that comment on society and life in the Arab world.