The Growth of the Middle East’s Art Market Takes Centre Stage as the DIFC Gulf Art Fair Reaches Out to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar

Published February 7th, 2007 - 02:10 GMT

Under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, executives from the DIFC Gulf Art Fair will this week visit key markets including Kuwait, KSA and Qatar to meet with local galleries, artists, and potential collectors interested in attending the inaugural event, taking place from 8-10 March 2007.

"The DIFC Gulf Art Fair aims to bring the some of the world’s leading artists, galleries, and collectors together in Dubai to celebrate all forms of contemporary visual art.  Our outreach efforts in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar this week are intended to encourage artists and galleries from the region as well as cultural enthusiasts to attend and highlight for the international community the growth and potential of the region’s arts landscape," said John Martin, Director, DIFC Gulf Art Fair.

“With Qatar in the process of building five major art museums, and the increase in the number of art galleries in the past year in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the Gulf region is creating significant momentum as a cultural hub.   The DIFC Gulf Art Fair is not only encouraging regional artists such as Mona Hatoum and Lara Baladi to participate on a more global level, we also want to foster an atmosphere of inclusion in art appreciation that extends to the GCC markets and right across the region,” Martin added.
The road show will create further awareness for the DIFC Gulf Art Fair as well as encourage art collectors, artist, media and experts in the field of art from the GCC to come and celebrate all forms of contemporary visual art.  Intense regional interest is anticipated from gallery owners and collectors as the DIFC Gulf Art Fair brings together forty of the world’s leading contemporary and modern galleries to showcase works never seen before in the Middle East region, with art from the likes of Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst as well as artists associated with the Middle East region such as Patricia Millns and Nadim Karam.

• Biography, John Martin, DIFC Gulf Art Fair Director

John Martin opened his gallery in the West End of London in 1992 dealing with contemporary British and Irish art.  He has organised nearly 200 exhibitions both in Britain and the U.S during the last 14 years, published over 100 books and catalogues and produced three films. In 1999 he helped establish ARTLONDON with Ralph Ward-Jackson, and continues to sit on the advisory committee for the event.  Television appearances include ‘Heist’ (Channel 4) and ITN. He is a member of the Society of London Art Dealers and for four years chaired a committee of The Art Fund. He lives on the Suffolk coast with his wife and two sons.

• Opening times: Wednesday 7th March (by invitation only); Thursday 8th March 7-11pm (tickets 200 Dhs); Friday 9th and Saturday 10th March 1-7pm (tickets 80 Dhs)

• Press Preview: Wednesday 7th March 5.30-7.30 pm.

• Details on START can be found at Contact: Anthony Dawton/ Tel: +44 207 3701966

• For further information on Quintessentially please visit


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