Asmaa Al Shabibi Appointed Managing Director for DIFC Gulf Art Fair

Published July 8th, 2007 - 09:47 GMT

The management of the DIFC Gulf Art Fair announced today the appointment of Asmaa Al Shabibi as Managing Director for the annual event.

In her new role, Al Shabibi will direct the strategic and operational aspects of the DIFC Gulf Art Fair, which hosted 40 galleries and saw more than 9,000 visitors attend the three-day event in March 2007.  Al Shabibi earlier founded a successful interior design business in the UAE, specializing in residential projects. A lawyer by training and education, she has also worked at international law firms in Singapore and London.

“Asmaa's wide breadth of previous responsibilities and expertise in both design and finance make her the ideal candidate to lead the DIFC Gulf Art Fair’s efforts from the Middle East.  With the DIFC Gulf Art Fair emerging as one of the most exciting art events on the global art calendar, we are increasing the size and scope of our operations to make our 2008 event a further success," said John Martin, Director and Co-founder of the DIFC Gulf Art fair. 

“While Asmaa has a background in law and investment services, she comes from an family of gallerists and Middle Eastern art collectors.  Her knowledge of both culture and commerce in the Middle East and abroad will help enable the DIFC Gulf Art Fair to more than double in size during the next twelve months,” he added.

As the driving force behind the DIFC Gulf Art Fair in the wider Middle East, Al Shabibi will be responsible for the day-to-day management of all operations, as well as the long-term growth of the fair and its related art forum and community projects. She will be responsible for all the fair's functional areas, including administration and community affairs, finance, human resources, information management, marketing and public relations, and process excellence.

 Al Shabibi holds a masters degree in Law and International Finance from London University and is a qualified solicitor.

For press enquiries please contact Shawn Stephens or Ahmed Al Zein at The Portsmouth Group on +9714- 3697535, email or

• Biography, John Martin, Gulf Art Fair Director

John Martin is the co-founder and Director of the DIFC Gulf Art Fair.  In addition, Martin is the co-director of the Global Art Forum, and sits on the board of the START charity. His contemporary art gallery in the West End of London has been in operation since 1992 and he has organised nearly 200 exhibitions both in Britain and the U.S during the last 15 years.  Martin has published more than 100 books and catalogues, and has produced three films. In 1999, he helped establish ARTLONDON with Ralph Ward-Jackson, and continues to sit on the advisory committee for the event.  Martin is a member of the Society of London Art Dealers and for four years chaired a committee of The Art Fund.


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