Artspace Opens New Gallery at the Dubai International Financial Centre

Published November 4th, 2008 - 01:13 GMT

Artspace Opens New Gallery at the Dubai International Financial Centre

Under the patronage of HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Managing Director of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Artspace opened its new contemporary art gallery at the Gate Village in the Dubai International Financial Centre today.

Artspace, which established itself first in Dubai in May 2003, under the patronage of HH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,  focuses on Middle Eastern contemporary art. One of a new breed of art galleries that have surfaced in Dubai over the past five years, Artspace has evolved into one of the most prominent institutions promoting art from the region.

The establishment of the new gallery comes at a time when global interest in Middle Eastern contemporary art is growing. HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman said: “As part of developing itself into a global cultural hub, Dubai has undertaken several initiatives to nurture art in the Middle East. Contemporary art in the region has recently gained a  high international profile by virtue of the exceptional creative work being done here. The Middle East has been identified as one of the world's most exciting emerging art markets. By promoting art galleries like Artspace, DIFC seeks to support Dubai's initiatives to harness this new artistic energy in the region. Artspace’s new gallery promises to make a key contribution to this effort by showcasing the best in regional art.”

Artspace was born out of the the gallery's owner, Maliha Al Tabari's passion for contemporary art. A painter and sculptor herself, with a B.F.A. and an art history minor from Otis College of Art and Design and Ringling School of Art and Design, Florida, Al Tabari's  background helped her shape Artspace into one of the most prominent contemporary art galleries in the region. Today, Artspace has evolved not only into a reputed institution, but also an art consultancy for private collectors and public spaces. Over the years, Artspace has allied itself with leading art establishments, such as the British Museum, which has contributed to the collections showcased at its gallery.

The works exhibited at Artspace span different mediums - from oil on canvas to photography to sculpture and cater to the most sophisticated tastes and trends of Dubai's art connoisseurs. With the promotion of contemporary Middle Eastern art by auction houses such as Christies, Sotheby’s and fairs such as Art Dubai and Art Paris (Abu Dhabi), Artspace has seen substantial growth in its business over the last year. It was this rapid growth that prompted its decision to launch a new gallery in the heart of Dubai's financial district - in DIFC.

Artspace Gallery in DIFC is sponsored by Barclays Wealth and Mondrian South Beach.

Soha Nashaat, Managing Director and Head of Barclays Wealth in the Middle East and North Africa said: "As Dubai increasingly becomes a cosmopolitan venue for regional and international art, Barclays wealth is proud to support this evolution by sponsoring the opening of the Artspace Gallery in the Dubai International Financial Centre. When the opportunity arose to sponsor this gallery, there was no doubt that this was an avenue we wanted to pursue, as we are committed to encouraging and supporting local and regional talent in the world of the arts. While Barclays is a global patron of the arts, we at Barclays Wealth felt this was the perfect opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the region and its rich heritage and culture.”

On the occasion of the launch of the new gallery, Artspace is showcasing the works of a unique selection of innovative artists who represent a new wave of Middle Eastern art: Adam Henein, Zakaria Ramhani, Adel El Siwi, Ahmed Mater, Paul Guiragossian, Emanuel Guiragossian, Louay Kayyali, Youssef Ahmed and Omar El-Nagdi.


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