FOLLOWING rumours in the trade, London-based fair organisers Brian and Anna Haughton have confirmed exclusively to ATG that they will launch a high-end international fair in Dubai next February.
ART AND ANTIQUES DUBAI will run from February 21 to 24 at the Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah, and is staged with the support of the Dubai Government’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, which has been anxious to promote the emirate as a cultural destination.
DTCM Director General Mr Khalid A bin Sulayem said: “We hope the fair will play a positive role in encouraging art in the emirate and bringing art lovers from different parts of the world to Dubai.”
The Haughtons are uniquely qualified to launch a prestigious, quality fair in a new market. After initiating the International Ceramics Fair in London in 1982 they organised the first vetted fair in New York in 1989. They subsequently led the field in international, quality New York fairs and now organise four a year at the Park Avenue Armory.
Around 50 top-class exhibitors are envisaged at ART AND ANTIQUES DUBAI in a space just a shade smaller than the Park Avenue Armory.
Collecting areas will include Islamic works of art and 20th century design, and the fine art will include Middle Eastern and Indian work, areas with which the Haughtons are familiar from their International Asian Art Fair in New York in March.
Situated in the international fairs calendar between Palm Beach and Maastricht, the Haughtons should be able to attract the kind of top European and American exhibitor who have long been looking for a suitable showcase in the Middle East. But they are also looking to recruit in the Middle East, North Africa and India.
Competition has been fierce to launch a really successful antiques fair in the emirates. The latest venture was reported in ATG in March, when ex-NEC organiser Fran Foster announced fairs in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in November and December this year. So far, though, there is no news of any exhibitors committing.
By David Moss