DIFC to Host "Art Patronage in the Business Age" Conference

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is hosting a series of talks and discussions starting today on the importance of art in the corporate realm in a conference titled "Art Patronage in the Business Age".

As part of Art Dubai's Global Art Forum, the address, given by His Excellency Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the DIFC and Member of the Board and Managing Director of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, will aim to encourage and support the region's artists by calling on corporations to play a more active role in promoting the arts.

"Since our very inception, the DIFC has adopted a two-pronged strategy to promote the city and itself as one in the global chain of hubs for both finance and the art and culture. And we believe that as we have been named the fastest emerging global financial centre by no less than the City of London, similarly we are emerging with no less speed on the global world of art," said Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, governor of the DIFC and member of the board and managing director of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.

"There is a very strong correlation between wealth and beauty. Both are inter-related and inter-dependent. Without wealth, beauty cannot be inspired nor find an appreciative market and without beauty, wealth alone would make for a most grey and tasteless life," said Dr Omar.

The series of discussions will be held on DIFC grounds in parallel to three exhibitions being showcased in and around DIFC's Gate Building, which brings to light the Authority's comprehensive approach to arts patronage.

"We are confident that the Arts industry will grow in the region and firmly believe that Dubai can become a truly global centre for art and culture, and that the DIFC can play an integral role in that process. By bringing a beautiful composition of art galleries to the region, the DIFC aims to enhance the appreciation of the arts in general and in particular to create a regional market for art that supports art and artists," explained Dr Omar.

As primarily a financial institution, the DIFC's has long been a practitioner of garnering support for the arts through business, None so clearer than with the selection of artworks on display at the Emperor's marquee at the DIFC, exhibiting a selection of works on-loan from the JP Morgan collection in New York. 
"This company [JP Morgan] was one of the first to recognise the significance of art in the workplace, and this is most certainly a relationship that we are proud to continue and nurture here at the DIFC," he said.

"We have been given the mandate to create a culture and arts infrastructure that positions Dubai as a vibrant, global city helping to shape 21st century culture and arts in the region and the world," he continued.

"History has shown that all renaissance periods have been associated with economic prosperity in times of political stability and government patronage. With vast wealth being generated in our region, it is but natural that attention would turn to the more beautiful things in life," said Dr Omar.

Bin Sulaiman is also slated to discuss:

  • DIFC's leadership role in contributing to Dubai's vibrant art scene by garnering artists from around the UAE to showcase their work in a newly formed DIFC collection, concentrating on contemporary Islamic and regional art for acquisitions
  • Providing an opportunity for the growing number of local, regional and international corporations to take a proactive role in bridging together art and corporate patronage
  • The resurgence of art and its purchase in the region
  • A review of the newly published Christie's/YouGov Siraj survey

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