If you’ve been waiting for this art event, you have to wait just a little longer as it has been postponed by a few days…

Art Dubai – The most sought after art event comes with a big change this year.

The event is moving from its historical location in Madinat Jumeirah to a purpose-built venue under the iconic Gate Building at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The event now begins on March 29 and has been extended to six days ending on April 3.

The extension of days is a great way the event is tackling crowd control in light of the pandemic. But, this also means you will be able to stare at a painting as much as you want without giving the side-eye to someone standing too close to you, allowing you to give the artworks the attention it deserves.

The new purpose-built structure beneath the Capital Gate building in DIFC will house around 45 galleries – including San Gimignano’s GALLERIA CONTINUA and TEMPLON from Paris. A full list of art galleries is yet to be released, but keep your eye on the artdubai.ae website for the announcement.

While we (eagerly) wait…

Art Dubai Hala Khayat

What’s On caught up with Art Dubai’s regional director Hala Khayat ahead of the event who reveals her hopes for this year’s fair.

Whats’s On: This is your first year with Art Dubai. What do you hope to achieve?

Hala Khayat: Art Dubai has played a central role in developing Dubai’s vibrant art scene, making a significant contribution to the cultural ecology of the region. It’s always been a unique convergence point and I’m excited about enabling artists to meet collectors by helping put on a physical event in a safe environment and supporting a sector which, like many others, has been impacted greatly over the last year. That is our aim.

Whats’s On: What’s different about this year’s fair?

Hala Khayat: A lot! Although our mission remains, we have had to adapt to the current circumstances and will be following the highest safety protocols. We have developed a new App to help manage access to the fair and have redesigned the layout to ensure increased social distancing. In addition, we will be supporting participating galleries that may be unable to attend in person through a remote participation programme. This allows them to send their artworks to Dubai and we’ll facilitate all logistics and connect them virtually with fair visitors.

Whats’s On: Sounds like it’ll have more reach that way…

Hala Khayat: We like to think that this edition of the fair will allow us to innovate and keep pushing the definition of what an art fair can and should be.

Whats’s On: What part do local and regional artists play?

Hala Khayat: They’re essential. They are the foundation blocks upon which a cultural ecosystem can thrive and stay relevant, and Dubai is home to an increasing number of great talents who add to the scene. Art enthusiasts, collectors and international stakeholders from the cultural scene are extremely keen to discover the nuances of local art practice.

Whats’s On: What are you proudest to reveal this year?

Hala Khayat: I am thrilled that we will be showcasing the region’s artists with an important platform to display and promote their work. On a more personal note, I am proud of the wonderful Art Dubai team who have been working relentlessly with our partners to deliver this year’s edition in challenging circumstances.

Whats’s On: What’s in it for the casual visitor?

Hala Khayat: Discovering wonderful artworks from all over the world, and through them learning about different ways to read and interpret our reality. Art is unquestionably influenced by the world we live in, so visitors will have the opportunity to see how artists’ creations capture our recent reality. Now more than ever we have come to understand what a privilege it is to experience artworks in person, so the ability to visit an exhibition is one that should be cherished and we hope our visitors will enjoy it.

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How to visit:

Tickets are required to enter the event and it will cost Dhs25 per person for a one-day pass. Under-18s can enter for free. You will be available to purchase tickets soon on the Art Dubai website.

Here are the dates to note: 

March 29: Art Dubai Preview.
March 30 and 31: Entry is by invitation only.
April 1 to 3: Art Dubai Programme and Gallery Halls will be open to the public.

For more information and updates, head to artdubai.ae

Art Dubai, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai, March 29 to April 3, Dhs25 per day. Tel:(0)4 563 1400. @artdubai

Images: Art Dubai