Dubai’s economy is thriving, despite concerns about a global recession, as Art Dubai returns to the emirate with its biggest edition yet. The United Arab Emirates’ economy grew by 7.6% last year, according to the UAE Central Bank, the highest in 11 years, as demand for property skyrocketed and other industries, such as recreation and culture, saw decreases in inflation.
Art Dubai, which specialises in art from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, brings together over 130 exhibitors, with increased participation from leading African and South Asian dealers, and an expanded Art Dubai Digital section.
Art sector’s growth
Art Dubai’s digital section has grown from 17 galleries to 22 this year, and features a new NFT series by the Emirati artist and poet Nujoom Alghanem, which is derived from her 2017 film Sharp Tools. The works on display range in price from $200 to $6,000. The crypto crash has concerned many in the industry, but Anna Seaman, the co-founder and curator of MORROW Collective, believes the market for fine art NFTs will continue to grow, despite the volatility of crypto currency.
The healthy economic upturn and demand for property and services in Dubai is being attributed by many, including The Art Newspaper, to an influx of Russian citizens and money to the emirate, as it has not imposed sanctions on Russia.
Continued surge in demand
There was a huge growth in travel between Moscow and Dubai in 2022 compared to 2019, with some routes seeing 228% more passengers. For the first quarter of 2023, bookings to Dubai for premium class seats on Russian flights are already 103% ahead of the same quarter in 2019, according to travel data company ForwardKeys.
Although Russian money may boost sales in Dubai, both Mila Askarova, the founder and CEO of Gazelli Art House, and Anna Seaman predict it will have little effect for their galleries. They believe that there are no geographical boundaries or divides in the crypto space, and that the crypto market has a growing market for fine art NFTs. They applaud Dubai’s government for steering through the economic crisis, saying it is agile, shrewd and works hard to make sure that the economy remains strong, even in the most difficult times.
Thriving despite recession
Art Dubai’s success reflects the economic boom in Dubai, with the emirate rapidly developing into a global financial and technology hub, as the city continues to thrive despite the prospect of a global recession.
The event has grown in size and scope, as more dealers are hopeful for good sales, with the art market remaining resilient despite the pandemic and economic uncertainties. As the city of Dubai continues to boom, it is set to remain a significant player in the global art market, and Art Dubai is expected to continue to grow and expand in the years to come.