Winter 2017

Art & Auctions
All about art

The stage is set for Dubai’s art and design fairs this March

The 2017 editions of Art Dubai and Design Days Dubai, which will be held as part of Dubai’s Art Week, have both attracted record numbers of exhibitors, as the events grow in stature.

Art Dubai runs from March 15 to 18 at Madinat Jumeirah while Design Days Dubai will be held from March 14 to 17 at Dubai Design District (d3). Both events are held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, with the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) as their partner.

Art Dubai 2017 will feature more than 90 galleries from all over the world across its Contemporary and Modern sections, reinforcing its position as the most global of art fairs and the pre-eminent platform to discover new artists, galleries and emerging trends. 

“We are delighted to welcome new galleries and countries presenting for the first time, alongside lots of returning friends of the fair and it’s fantastic to be working with the team to drive forward what has always been the cultural powerhouse of the region,” says Myrna Ayad, Art Dubai’s new Director.

Ayad is an independent arts writer, editor and consultant who has been based in the UAE for over thirty years and is recognised as one of the Middle East’s leading voices and cultural commentators.


Art Dubai Contemporary 2017 will feature 93 galleries including 30-plus galleries focusing on solo or two-artist exhibitions, showing alongside collective presentations by galleries with multi-artist shows.

The Contemporary line-up includes Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York), Galerie Daniel Templon (Paris and Brussels), Carlier|Gebauer (Berlin), Galleria Franco Noero (Torino) Victoria Miro (London) and In Situ-Fabienne Leclerc (Paris), and first-time participants Marlborough Gallery (New York, London, Barcelona and Madrid) and Waddington Custot (London).

In addition to 12 galleries participating from the UAE, Art Dubai is delighted to welcome again Athr Gallery (Jeddah), Chatterjee & Lal (Mumbai), Dastan’s Basement (Tehran), Experimenter (Kolkata), Selma Feriani Gallery (Tunis), Gypsum Gallery (Cairo) and Zawyeh Gallery (Ramallah) as well as newcomers Al Marhoon Gallery from Algeria and Ab/Anbar and Mohsen Gallery from Tehran.

Art Dubai 2017 will feature its highest ever number of galleries from South America, with galleries from Peru and Uruguay attending for the first time. Exhibiting galleries will include Piero Atchugarry Gallery (Pueblo Garzón), Revolver Galeria (Lima), D12 Proyectos de Arte (Santiago) and Vermelho (Sao Paulo).


Art Dubai Modern will feature 15 galleries including Agial Art Gallery (Beirut), exhibiting the icon of Arab graphic arts Mustafa Al Hallaj (1938-2002), ArtTalks (Cairo) presenting Egyptian modernist Mamdouh Ammar, as well as Gallery One (Ramallah) showing Palestinian-born Sliman Mansour (b. 1947). Shirin Gallery (Tehran, New York) will showcase works by Iranian artists Hadi Hazavei (b. 1940) and Houshang Pezeshknia (1917-1972).

Pieces by leading modernists from India and Pakistan will be exhibited by Grosvenor Gallery (London), which will present works by recently deceased artist Sayed Haider Raza (1922-2016), a pioneer of Indian Modernism, and Pakistani artists Zahoor ul Akhlaq (1941-1999) and Anwar Jalal Shemza (1928-1985), offered by Jhaveri Contemporary (Mumbai).

Presence from the African continent will include Nigerian artists Ben Osawe (1931-2007) and Muraina Oyelami (b. 1940), presented by Tafeta (London).

Other highlights will include the Global Art Forum, the Abraaj Group Art Prize, and the Commissions and Fellowship programmes.

Art Dubai is held in partnership with The Abraaj Group and is sponsored by Julius Baer and Piaget. 


Meanwhile, Design Days Dubai, the fair dedicated to collectable design, will have a record 50 exhibitors for its sixth edition.

With its focus on contemporary creations, the fair’s format provides a platform for the region’s emerging design studios and solo designers to debut their furniture, lighting and design objects, featuring them alongside a diverse mix of the world’s design galleries. Known for its eclectic global selection of design and range of price points (from below $500 through to upwards of $75,000), the event appeals to the next generation of collector and seasoned collector alike.

This year’s first-time regional exhibitors are Ayah Al Bitar, AYKA Design, CarpertsCC by Cecilia Setterdahl, Jafar Dajani, Michael Rice and Nader Gammas (all from the UAE), Apical Reform (India), Aperçu Designs (Jordan), Marie Munier (Lebanon), and Dahr Design (Saudi Arabia). Returning ones include Aljoud Lootah, Cities, Fatima Bint Mohamed Initiative, MB&F M.A.D. Gallery and Nakkash Gallery (all from UAE); Nisreen and Nermaan Abu Dail of Naqsh Collective (Jordan); Iwan Maktabi and Vick Vanlian (both Lebanon); Coalesce (Pakistan); and Aisha Al-Sowaidi (Qatar). 

Also, for the first time since the launch edition, vintage design will be presented by MCML Studio (UAE).

The event also sees the return of Coletivo Amor de Madre (Brazil) with award-winning multidisciplinary Atelier Marko Brajovic, The Crafts Council (UK), bringing eleven contemporary makers, and the Dutch Creative Industry, whilst welcoming newcomers Todd Merrill Studio (New York), Paris- and Los Angeles-based concept gallery L’Eclaireur, and Territoire(s) (Paris).

Design Days Dubai will also feature Van Cleef & Arpels’s Middle East Emergent Designer Prize, Audi’s Innovation Award, Tashkeel’s design programme Tanween, and Dubai Culture and d3’s Urban Commissions competition. 

There will also be a programme of special projects, talks, workshops and guided tours.

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