Art Dubai closed its 15th edition on Sunday 13 March 2022, with strong sales reported across all four sections of the fair: Modern, Contemporary, Bawwaba and Art Dubai Digital. Marking a full-scale return at Madinat Jumeirah, Art Dubai’s 2022 edition was the fair’s largest to date, with a record attendance of more than 30,000 visitors across five days. The fair’s success reinforces the growing importance of Dubai as an international hub for art and culture and innovation and technology and Art Dubai as the marketplace for art and artists from the Global South.
Art Dubai 2022 featured more than 120 presentations by 104 galleries and platforms from 44 countries. Newly commissioned works complemented the gallery programme from leading international artists and an oversubscribed, innovative talks programme, bringing together some of the world’s brightest minds through the 15th edition of Global Art Forum and the new Bybit Talks Series. Art Dubai 2022 also featured the debut edition of Art Dubai Digital, a new physical gallery section presenting a curated selection of 17 of the most cutting-edge digital platforms internationally. This was their first experience exhibiting in a traditional fair context for many platforms with in-person and online sales.
Art Dubai’s Artistic Director Pablo del Val commented: “This was, without doubt, one of the most successful editions of Art Dubai, in terms of both visitors and sales reported, fully reflecting Dubai’s position as an engine of global growth and a city no longer of the future, but of the here and now. The response from audiences and collectors to the debut edition of Art Dubai Digital has been truly incredible. Art Dubai prides itself on being a fair of innovation and forward-thinking, and there was a real freshness and energy to the 2022 edition across the whole programme.”
Kristin Hjellegjerde, Founder, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery: “We had a very successful week, there was a lot of positive energy, and we sold multiple works to both new and returning clients. Dubai is a city in transition, and there is undoubtedly a growing collector scene here, at all levels.”
Victoria Cooke, Director, Gallery 1957: “This is our third time at Art Dubai and our most successful edition yet. On the opening day we sold works to African-American, South Asian, and regional collectors. Dubai is a truly international place, and it’s been an incredibly positive experience.”
Priyanka Raja, Founder, Experimenter: “We had a very successful week, selling almost all the works we brought, mostly to institutions. It’s been one of the strongest editions in Art Dubai’s history, in terms of the quality of the galleries and the art they are showing, and in the conversations we have had. We have met people here from all over the world, made sales to new people and it has been an incredibly fruitful week for us. There has been a constant buzz, on all days of the fair, and as well as the sales we make, Art Dubai is a facilitator or longer-term conversations and feels like a moment of celebration for our artists.”
Asmaa Al-Shabibi, Founder, Lawrie Shabibi Gallery: “We had a good fair this year, with strong sales across our booth and gallery – overall the energy, interest and excitement was back to levels not seen for many years even before the pandemic.”
Joe Kennedy, Founder, Institut.co: “We were thrilled to be invited to participate in Art Dubai’s inaugural Digital section which brought together an impeccably curated cross-section of platforms, galleries and DAOs from this innovative and rapidly expanding space. It was a great opportunity for Institut to meet members of our community IRL and educate and engage with a truly global audience, and we had a very successful week.”
Henry Brand, Fingerprints DAO: “We chose to do a hybrid booth including both online and IRL elements and we sold very well, with lots of NFTs being minted in person here at the booth – by collectors of all ages, and a really wide demographic. It’s our first time participating in an art fair and we chose a particularly challenging presentation that expands the use of the blockchain as a medium for artists.”
Dima Abdul Kader, Emergeast: “Art Dubai has been absolutely fantastic for us as the feedback and the traffic has been hugely positive and inspiring. Sales have been great and we almost sold out the booth. This feels like a unique moment in time, and in 12 months it will be a different landscape.”
Thomas Brambilla, Founder, Thomas Brambilla: “It was our first time here at Art Dubai and we sold extremely well. It was a beautiful week and we really enjoyed it, in what is a completely new part of the world for us, and one where we plan to do more. Dubai is becoming ever more important, it’s a gateway to the region, and we met a lot of new, serious collectors this week.”
Matteo Consonni, Founder, Madragoa: “This is our first experience of Art Dubai and it has been an extremely positive one. We are a young European gallery and this week we feel like we have been in the centre of the melting pot that is Dubai. Sales were consistent across the week and we were pleased to sell out the booth.”
Founded in 2007, Art Dubai is the premier platform to see and buy modern and contemporary art from the Global South. Featuring Contemporary, Modern and Digital gallery sections, annual artist commissions and year-round collector and education programmes, Art Dubai champions art and artists from across the Global South, providing a relevant and increasingly important alternative to mainstream, largely Western-led narratives.
Art Dubai is 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 is held in partnership with ARM Holding. The lead partner of the fair is Swiss Wealth Management Group Julius Baer. The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is the fair’s strategic partner. Bybit is the lead partner of Art Dubai Digital.