Organisers anticipate record visitor numbers over the course of the fair

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Art,Dubai 2010, the Middle East’s biggest contemporary art event, opened today.

Open to the public from Thursday, 17 March until Saturday, 20 March, Art Dubai brings together artists, gallerists, curators and collectors from around the world to experience over 80 separate exhibitions presented by leading international galleries and institutions. Art Dubai, which showcases the works of 500 artists, also features solo exhibitions, installations, performances, talks and screenings.

Art Dubai’s organisers are anticipating a substantial increase in its 2009 attendance figure of more than 14,000 visitors, reflecting the growing enthusiasm in the arts from all sectors of the local community, as well as a worldwide international following and a programme that is designed to appeal equally to the first time visitor as well as the seasoned art professional.

His Excellency Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) said:
“Just as in business, Dubai is emerging as a bridge between the east and west in the cultural domain as well. Art Dubai offers a forum for artists from across the world to engage in an inter-cultural dialogue and to share their ideas and experiences. The art fair is also an opportunity to strengthen linkages between art and the business world. At DIFC, we believe that art can stimulate new ideas and perspectives in business and we support a strong role for art in the business community. Furthermore, Art Dubai is the tangible representation of the value that arts and cultural investment and development bring to cities such as Dubai.

Art Dubai contributes to Dubai’s efforts to vitalise the city’s cultural life and integrate art and culture more closely into Dubai’s social fabric.”

The highlights of Art Dubai’s comprehensive programme of events include:

    • The works of more than 500 artists represented by more than 70 regional and international art galleries from China to Chile, Australia to USA, and galleries throughout the Middle East.


    • More than 25 solo exhibitions, installations, and special projects, including the Abraaj Capital Art Prize, the world’s most generous art prize.


    • Rub shoulders with the leading protagonists and commentators of the art world at the Global Art Forum, with four days of talks, presentations and panel discussions, in association with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.


    • Specially-commissioned artworks and video installations for the Art Park curated by Bidoun Projects by UAE national, Iranian and American artists, among others, with the support of the Emirates Foundation.


  • Community and family-orientated programming including graffiti workshops and large-scale collaborative painting with START, the non-profit initiative that links child development with arts education.

“For four days, Art Dubai showcases the very best of what the Middle East and wider global market have to offer in terms of contemporary art – it is a snapshot of the growing importance of the region as an arts hub and a key international platform for artists, curators, galleries and for collectors to discover the rising stars of tomorrow’s art world” said John Martin, Director and Co-Founder of Art Dubai. “In our fourth year, we have deliberately chosen a programming mix that will present an exciting diversity of contemporary art from around the world to appeal to new audiences whilst stimulating a creative environment and new discoveries for experienced art professionals.”

A highlight of Art Dubai 2010 is the unveiling of artworks created by the winners of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize. The hotly-anticipated pieces are History of a Myth: The Small Dome of the Rock by artist Kader Attia and curator Laurie Ann Farrell; Myths & Legends Room: The Mural by artist Hala Elkoussy and curator Jelle Bouwhuis; and The Feast of the Damned by artist Marwan Sahmarani and curator Mahita El Bacha Urieta.

In addition, visitors to Art Dubai will be the first in the region to view the Van Cleef & Arpels exhibition The Poetry of Time, covering almost a century of watch making creativity and expertise. The Poetry of Time at Art Dubai 2010 traces the evolution of watch making at Van Cleef & Arpels through emblematic timepieces and includes a special workshop installation featuring master craftsmen at work. Tickets will be available at the door during Art Dubai. They are priced at AED 50 each. Entry for children aged 12 and under is free.

Art Dubai 2010 is held in partnership with private equity group Abraaj Capital and enjoys support from its sponsors Van Cleef & Arpels, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts and HSBC. Canvas magazine will produce Canvas Daily, the official daily supplement for Art Dubai 2010.

Art Dubai 2010 Opening Release - Arabic


Art Dubai 2010 Opening Release - English


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