By Lauren Jade Hill
With its increasingly vibrant contemporary arts scene, Dubai is considered one of the region’s great hubs for international art and design. And this burgeoning creativity is at its most evident during the annual international arts fair, Art Dubai. Returning in March 2017 for its 11th edition, Art Dubai promises to feature as many as 93 galleries from across 43 countries, once again proving its prominence in the international art world.
While giving art aficionados the chance to discover emerging trends, Art Dubai introduces each of its visitors to the work of some of the most exciting artists on the international art scene right now. To experience the very best of this extensive art fair, a number of visitors are given the opportunity to be a part of the event’s exclusive VIP Program.
This members-only bespoke schedule encompasses private viewings at a number of the city’s participating museums, institutions and studios, under the expert guidance of directors, artists and curators, with bespoke VIP tours taking in the highlights of the art fair.
Along with exclusive entrance to a number of Art Dubai’s showcases, VIP guests are given access to a series of exhibitions held in private collectors’ homes throughout the week, as well as the chance to join artists in conversation at the Abraaj Terrace Talks. Held on the terrace of The Abraaj Groups Lounge, this series of talks promises to feature leaders and innovators of the international art world, business and philanthropy, with highlights including Abraaj Group Art Prize curator Omar Berrada in conversation with the winner of the 2017 edition, Rana Begum, and the appearance of Manuel Rabate, Director of the Louvre.
The private collections of prolific art collectors Mohammed Afkhami, Shohidul Ahad-Choudhury and Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi will be among those on display at this time, which together encompass a diversity of art disciplines, originating from all corners of the globe.
Of the limited access arts events commissioned by Art Dubai Projects, ‘Cooking Liberty’ in The Room by Beirut-based art collector Atfal Ahdath is garnering particular attention, as a visual and gastronomic experience that transitions from an installation in the day, to an immersive sensory experience after hours. The interactive bar installation ‘Ghariba/Stranger’ by Brooklyn-based artist Meriem Bennani, meanwhile, looks into how social interaction is encouraged among strangers in society.
As the sun goes down, a series of exclusive, invite-only dinners and parties by galleries, magazines and sponsors begin, including the Art Dubai after-party, and Alserkal Avenue’s Galleries Night. Taking place on the 13th March in the Al Quoz-based art district, this event will see each gallery opening its doors for the art community to come together while visiting each other’s shows.
Art Dubai 2017 takes place from 15th to 18th March. Find out which exhibitions and events to be a part of by going over to the official website, and combine the most exclusive events of Art Dubai with the city’s attractions by requesting the art fair’s AUDI car service, which is exclusively available to guests with VVIP status.