Last year, Art Dubai moved to a digital platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year, it seems that city’s biggest art offering is going back to “normal,” albeit a new one… Art Dubai is the Middle East’s leading art fair that serves as a platform for highlighting international, regional and local art talents. 2021’s edition is scheduled to take place from March 29th to April 3rd at a venue built specifically for the event at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
The purpose built venue is in place to ensure that COVID-19 restrictions and protocol are adhered to, in order to allow attendees to enjoy the event physically. The organizers have ensured that safe and easy accessibility is paramount for visitors.
In collaboration with Dubai Culture, the event is set to feature 50 modern and contemporary galleries from over 30 countries, including India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and more. Galleries that are unable to bring their art to Dubai in light of travel restrictions, will be showcased on a digital platform in a “remote participation program”.
Pablo del Val, artistic director of Art Dubai said in a statement, “From the moment that you park your car and go through Gate Avenue (in DIFC) until you leave, you navigate the space and find different things depending on what you’re looking for. It’s going to be clever, because it’s going to give the right amount of time for everyone to see everything without feeling that they are trapped in the main space.”
He also added that he would like for Art Dubai to be experienced as a “cultural event” instead of a social one, as he added, “(we should) stop addressing culture as a place where you go to have fun, meet people, and make small talk. Let’s be more responsible.”
Emphasizing on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the art industry and all those that work within the sector, Del Val said, “We are an industry, and we have many people involved who live off what we do. It is not only the artists – who are the main focus – you have the galleries, the carpenters, the shippers, the installers. There is an entire industry of people that has been suffering during this period of time. The entire art industry is a business in itself that needs opportunities to perform and to be alive. So, I think it’s extremely important that we understand that we are not producing a social event. We are producing a cultural event. We are giving people the possibility of joining it in the most responsible way.”