Art Dubai Records High Sales with Digital Art and NFTs

The 15th edition of Art Dubai concluded on 13 March, 2022, at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai’s luxurious hotel complex and must-see tourist destination. The three-day event (11-13 March, 2022) recorded exceptional sales with UAE and European collectors making up majority of the buyers.

Art Dubai witnessed a huge footfall in perhaps the largest version of the global art fair since its inception, receiving more than 30,000 visitors. The exhibition plays an important role in enhancing Dubai’s position as a global centre for arts, culture, innovation, and technology, and a leading platform to attract creative and talented people from around the world.

Art Dubai, the leading global platform for art and artists from the Middle East and the Global South, featured over 120 presentations through 104 galleries and art platforms from 44 countries across the four sections, viz. Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba, and Digital.

While Art Dubai Contemporary showcased emerging art scenes from around the world, Art Dubai Modern featured presentations by modern 20th-century masters from the MENASA region. Bawwaba, meaning ‘Gateway’ in Arabic, offered visitors a curated reading of current artistic developments across wide geographical scopes as solo artist presentations.

Art Dubai Digital was the new gallery section to make its maiden appearance in this year’s edition. Its 18 galleries, some of them newly founded, was created in response to a serious shift in the global art scene with increasing interest in digital mediums and the rise of NFT (non-fungible token) art.  It featured several international platforms working with NFTs; contemporary galleries with projects devoted to new media and digital art; galleries working with digital art since the 1980s; and NFT e-commerce sites and organizations that are turning existing physical art into NFTs. The transition of the NFT market into the real fair mode had proved financially successful.

Bybit, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange and the lead partner of Art Dubai Digital, organised a series of talks demystifying technology such as digital media and NFTs, and terminologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrency, and minting to potential artists and collectors interested in broadening their horizons.

The exhibition succeeded in attracting large numbers of institutional visitors from major art capitals from all over the region and the Global South, including Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA)(Cape Town, South Africa), Tate (London, Liverpool & Cornwall – UK), The Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), the British Museum (London, UK), Musee d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (Mudam)(Luxembourg City, Luxembourg), Kunstverein in Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany), and Museum of Art & Photography (MAP)(Bengaluru, India).

The exhibition was held in partnership with Dubai-based investment company A.R.M. Holding, with Swiss wealth management group Julius Baer as the event’s lead partner and Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) as the strategic partner.

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