Art Dubai 2023

Written by Silvana Fitzpatrick

Art Dubai shines a bright light on modern and contemporary works from all around the world. The 16th edition will return to Madinat Jumeirah from March 3–5, 2023, with a preview event taking place from March 1–2. Almost 400 artists from 40 different nations will have their works on show throughout the three-day event in categories such as contemporary, modern, bawwaba (meaning ‘gateway’ in Arabic), and digital. There is a lot to see and do, including talks, educational programmes, conferences, and workshops offered by artists for kids between the ages of five and seven.

The largest international art fair in the Middle East, Art Dubai, is held in March in Dubai, every year. Over the past 16 years, Art Dubai has consolidated its position as a key catalyst for local, regional, and global discussions on art from the Middle East region and beyond.

The extended programme for this year fully represents Dubai’s role as a hub for the area's creative sectors, both for business and non-profit. Through creative public-private collaboration, the event is fostering talent, sparking Dubai's creative economy, and bringing together brilliant minds, as a gateway for the broader cultural sector within the thriving arts ecosystem.

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The 16th edition of Art Dubai, which is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, has released information on its upcoming programme and partnerships. An extensive and multi-faceted conference, talk, and education programme will be featured at this year’s edition, reinforcing Dubai's growth as a hub for art and culture and a prominent contributor to international discussions about contemporary art.

The Programme

This year’s programme highlights the fair’s premier role as a global meeting point for creative industries and communities and has been arranged in collaboration with cultural partners from the region and aboard. Supporting the growth of Dubai’s cultural infrastructure, Art Dubai will showcase premieres and art commissions by renowned international artists and leading institutions in the region. The themes are centred around celebration, connection, hope, food, and communities. You can expect a gallery programme packed with more than 130 presentations from 40 participating countries featuring exclusive new work from more than 30 first-time participants. More than fifty interactive sessions will take place daily with talks, forums, and conferences held under Art Dubai’s flagship – Global Art Forum.

You can also attend the first edition of Christie's Art+Tech summit in Dubai, a series of Modern and Collector presentations created in collaboration with the Dubai Collection, and a brand-new event in partnership with the Art Business Conference that will focus on sustainability. Some of the world’s most celebrated art creators will premiere their artworks in a series of newly commissioned exhibits at this year’s venue. Madinat Jumeirah will turn into a museum of art, with purpose-built spaces designated for art manifestations.

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This Year’s Highlights

This year’s edition showcases a record number of Dubai-based galleries participating for the first time, with a focus on Middle Eastern and African art. Alabbar Gallery and Efie Gallery are the most prominent ones, promoting the advancement of contemporary Emirati and African artists.

The Swiss Wealth Management Group Julius Baer has renewed its partnership with Art Dubai for another five years and is ready to premiere Refik Anadol’s newly commissioned artwork, which delves into data-driven learning algorithms that create abstract environments. Refik Anadol is a pioneer in artificial intelligence aesthetics and new media artist, based in Los Angeles.

The commissioned works will debut in Dubai as a part of Julius Baer's new program, NEXT, which will promote the interdisciplinary study of megatrends in arts, science, and technology.

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Art Dubai’s celebrated Global Art Forum conference commissioned by Shumon Basar will dwell on a central theme entitled "Predicting the Present" with a focus on one vital question – What will happen if history and the future come to an end? On this note, Global Art Forum is inviting curators, technologists, and leading artists to assess the cultural climate of the present while maintaining new sources of optimism about the future.

Forums about culture, innovation, and society progression hint at Dubai as a future-facing innovation leader and ideal platform for such discussions, a city that is always prepared to find navigation tools for uncertain times.

Christie's will hold its first regional Art+Tech summit this year at Art Dubai. In conjunction with Christie's annual summit in New York, the goal is to bring together regional and global leaders, innovators, artists, and visionaries to foster meaningful conversations on the intersection of art and technology, while combining the East and West current challenges and future opportunities.

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The Art of Guerlain

Famous beauty French House Guerlain is a first-time partner at this year’s Art Dubai edition and will present the iconic release of Guerlain X Maison Matisse The Art of Happiness, the newer version of the house’s legendary Bee Bottle perfume.

With the help of Maison Matisse and Astrid de Chaillé, the French luxury brand has added a limited-edition Bee Bottle to its Extraordinary Creations line. The Matisse partnership, dubbed The Art of Happiness, also features a scented candle and a new fragrance in the company's L'Art & La Matière line.

Visitors to the booth will also be able to sample some of Guerlain's most prized scents, including those created in partnership with artists such as Jon One, Tarek Banaoum, Li Hongbo, and Dubai-based jewellery designer Nadine Kanso, who will be showcasing her most recent creation, Rêve D'Amour.

A series of photographs and descriptions of each piece will accompany this special presentation of extraordinary items. Digital Guerlain will display the interactive augmented reality piece "De Nectar at d'Ambroisie" brought to life by Constance Valero, a young artist. The piece is a tribute to life and its resilience and a celebration of the supremacy of organic functioning.

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As the global artistic landscape continues to shift, Art Dubai continues to play a significant role in highlighting and supporting the cultural ecosystems of the MENA region. This year's programmes completely demonstrate the expanding significance, vitality, and vibrancy of the event. The expansive commissioning and thought-leadership programmes, along with the great gallery line-up, showcase the diversity of dialogue taking place in UAE and provide a cultural window into the past, present, and future of this significant region.