Art Dubai 2017 | 15-18 March 2017 | Madinat Jumeirah Dubai
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Art Dubai, the leading international art fair and gateway to art from around the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, is back again this year from 15 to 18 March 2017 for its 11th edition.
From highlights of what not to miss this year, to the rundown of the most exclusive events and how to get tickets: we have your ultimate guide to Art Dubai right here.
Art Dubai 2017 will feature 277 artists from over 40 countries, representing more than 60 different nationalities. With almost three quarters of galleries returning to the fair, Art Dubai 2017 will feature 90+ galleries from 44 different countries.
- Last year the fair saw over 27.5K visitors over the week
- 25 galleries attending the fair for the first time
- 30+ galleries focusing on solo or two-artist exhibitions
- 12 galleries participating from the UAE
- 9 galleries participating from Iran
- 4 from South America and 1 has a space in La Habana
- 4th edition of Modern section – will feature 15 galleries from 12 countries
New Fair Director, Myrna Ayad, talks to us about what not to miss this year. Here are her highlights:
Art Dubai Contemporary
“One of the most exciting aspects about this hall – and which will be immediately perceptible and palpable – is the curatorial effort that has gone into each booth. The works of some of the world’s aspiring and emerging artists through to established, respected names will be exhibited through 78 galleries. That variety in itself is unique and attests to Art Dubai’s positioning as the most global of art fairs. We’ve got a strong contingent of galleries from Iran as well as those from South America this year, and it’s always interesting to feel the ‘pulse’ of the times and trends in this hall.”
Art Dubai Modern
“If ever there were a visual anthology of the 20th-centry histories of the Middle East, South Asia and Africa regions, every edition of Art Dubai Modern would constitute a chapter. This vault is where secrets and told and untold histories are held – from political and economic hardship through to the many layers between tradition and modernity and social issues, the prized artworks exhibited in this hall testify to culturally rich regions with long, colourful histories. With 15 galleries this year, it’s a different energy altogether – pensive and momentous with a lot more time spent exploring the narratives behind each work.”
The Abraaj Group Art Prize
“I’ve followed Rana Begum’s career for many years now and each time I’ve seen her work, I sense a reinterpretation, a rethinking and an exploration of new variations, specifically the fusion between architecture, minimalism and Islamic abstraction. I’m excited at the prospect of this young Bangladeshi artist presenting her winning work for the ninth Abraaj Group Art Prize under the curatorship of Omar Berrada, a curator whose work I admire. I am keen on seeing how she will push boundaries (quite literally!) as will the shortlisted artists Doa Aly, Raha Raissnia and Sarah Abu Abdallah.”
Art Dubai Commissions
“This is the first time that our Commissions will be wholly performance-based and I am excited about this for several reasons. Primarily, there is something to be said about casually waltzing through the fair only to be pleasantly interrupted by a performance. That definitely offers a different energy altogether. Yasmina Reggad returns to curate our Commissions and will, along with Lana Fahmi, will pay tribute to the late, great Emirati artist Hassan Sharif. I appreciate that these performances – including those by Iván Argote and Pauline Bastard, Eglé Budvytyté and Manuel Pelmus – altogether add another dimension to experiencing art. Personally, I value how these presentations continue to resonate, because ultimately, we recall emotions and a lot comes through with performance.”
Global Art Forum
“As someone who has lived in the UAE for over 30 years, the concept of trade was and still is prevalent, from seeing the dhows along the Dubai Creek bring in goods from Iran, India, which made their way into souks and retails outlets to witnessing the construction of ‘trading hubs’ in the form of huge shopping malls, the DIFC and others. Much as the UAE has been a nucleus in the regional trading industry, so too is Art Dubai as far as art and ideas are concerned and I am excited at how the Global Art Forum, aptly titled Trading Places and led by the indefatigable Shumon Basar, will tackle the exchange of ideas, narratives, concepts and goods.”
Art Dubai Modern Symposium
“There is something to be said of great minds coming together, as they will at the inaugural Art Dubai Modern Symposium. This is a great opportunity to hear otherwise untold stories, unknown truths and the sharing of knowledge on the region’s modernity and its key figures. These modernists, were, after all, documentarians of a time gone by and it is through their practices, told to us by participating curators, scholars, museum directors and patrons, that we can piece together different eras, influences and inspirations. I’m sure this will be a real eye-opener that will widen the dialogue on modern art from the region.”
The Sheikha Manal Little Artist’s Programme
“Provides hands-on and engaging workshops for children between the ages of 5-17. The programme encourages young people to get involved in the arts, creating a platform for creative thinking and artistic expression.”
Private Days (by invitation only)
Monday 13 March 18.30-20.30: Art Dubai Modern Preview
Tuesday 14 March 15.00-21.30: Art Dubai Preview
Tuesday 14 March 19.00: The Abraaj Group Art Prize Unveiling
Vernissage (by invitation only)
Wednesday 15 March 13-16.00: Ladies Day Preview (open to all ladies)
Wednesday 15 March 16.00-21.30: VIP Opening
Thursday 16 March 16.00-21.30
Friday 17 March 14.00-21.30
Saturday 18 March 12-18.30
*Please note that last entrance into the fair is at 21.00.
Tickets can be purchased at the fair or online at a discounted price here.
Day ticket (valid one day, either 16, 17, 18 March): AED 50 if purchased online, AED 80 if purchased onsite
Free entry for youth under 18 and students with valid ID.
Parking for Art Dubai is at the nearby Dubai Police Academy, with continuous shuttles to the fair.
Please note that at peak times there will be no valet parking available at Madinat Jumeirah, and we strongly advise coming by taxi for the evening events.
For more Luxe events across Dubai and Abu Dhabi this March, read our March issue of the Luxe List here.