Art Dubai Expands as the City Fears a Monstrous Debt

A piece of calligraphy art on display

In lieu of the gloom revolving around Dubai‘s upwelling debt concerns, the city’s annual art fair still managed to earn record sales, drawing more than 18,00 visitors – a 28 percent increase from 2009. The four-day contemporary art show featured the works of world-famous artists from 31 different companies, which was also an improvement in the variety of geographical representation in attendance at last year’s festivities.

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The success of some galleries, like Saudi Arabia’s Athr Gallery and Berlin’s Galerie Christian Hosp, which reportedly sold 90% of their inventories, stand in stark contrast with the suffering financial statuses of the local crowd. But it makes more sense to consider who attends the fair, said Joan Lee, head of Seoul-based SUN gallery, who admitted that most of the interested attendees are from royal families and collectors.┬áThat isn’t to say that they are all foreign interests; after all, Tessa De Caters of Isabelle Van Den Eynde, a Dubai-based gallery, said that the local community of collectors is expanding alongside an increasing international interest in Middle Eastern art. With all this attention, it wasn’t a surprise when Fabio Rossi of London’s Rossi & Rossi, asserted that the four-year fair is undoubtedly finding it’s place on the global art market.

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