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New Gulf art and antique fairs will offer cut-price stands

19 March 2007Written by ATG Reporter

DETAILS have been released of the two new Middle East fairs at Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Organised by British company Turret Middle East Ltd, the fairs director is Fran Foster, who for a decade put together the Antiques For Everyone fairs at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.

Last week she announced that the Abu Dhabi International Fine Art and Antiques Fair will run at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from November 21 to 24, followed by The Dubai International Fine Art and Antiques Fair at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from December 12 to 15.

Around 100 exhibitors are expected at each and UK dealers are expected to account for approximately 30 per cent of them, although this is subject to change.

The fairs will not be datelined but a Fair Standards Committee will be set up, headed by Peter Wain, the former dealer in Oriental works of art who presently chairs the vetting committees at the NEC.

High quality standfitting and presentation is promised and a marketing campaign is underway in both Europe and the Emirates.

Each fair has a square metre price of US$500 (approximately £250), a very competitive rate which indicates that the costs of participation will be below a number of the leading London and US fairs. In addition, Mrs Foster has negotiated a 10 per cent reduction for dealers standing at both events.

A major loan display has been arranged for both fairs and, as is now customary at major events, a programme of seminars and lectures has been drafted.

Both fairs take place at the same time and in the same venue as the established International Watch and Jewellery Show and joint promotion is being arranged.

Mrs Foster has made exploratory trips to both venues and both ventures have the full support of their respective governments. This involves financial and not just moral support.

However, talks with local officials have uncovered what might be one sticky area in presenting a western-style art and antiques show in the Gulf, and that is the local reaction to depictions of the human form in any way but fully clothed.

By David Moss

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