Message from the Directors
The arts sector has, like so many others, been heavily impacted by the events of the last 12 months and we feel, along with our partners, a keen responsibility to do everything we possibly can to support our communities at this time. Having consulted all our stakeholders and taken into account a wide range of factors, we remain confident in producing a physical edition of this year’s fair. Our new plan takes into account health and safety protocols, travel and other COVID-related restrictions, along with the continued commitment from our local community who wish to attend an in-person art event.
The new purpose-built structure will house around 45 galleries, and will run for an extended six days. This will offer greater flexibility to visitors, whilst enabling us to more efficiently regulate the number of people attending the fair at any point in time, in accordance with the necessary safety and social distancing measures. A booking system through our new app will enable us to operate on an appointment-only basis or open as normal, a decision we can take closer to the fair, guided by the latest advice.
In view of the UAE having the second most advanced vaccination programme in the world, we are hopeful that by the end of March we will be operating in a more open environment. However, additional programming and collateral exhibitions outside the fair will be subject to conditions at that time and will be announced closer to the fair. If restrictions are eased, the new location will allow us to take advantage of the many facilities DIFC offers, including the region’s best restaurants and members clubs, for social events and wider programming.
We are mindful that international travel restrictions will continue to have an impact on galleries’ ability to physically attend the fair. We are therefore pleased to announce our Remote Participation Programme that will enable galleries to virtually present their physical exhibitions and allow visitors in Dubai to experience artworks in person. We will announce our updated list of participating galleries later this month.
By putting the above measures in place, we are confident in our ability to adapt and respond flexibly to the changing circumstances.
We would like to sincerely thank all those who have helped make these changes possible in such a short timeframe, in particular DIFC that will host this year’s fair, Dubai Culture for their strategic partnership and our sponsors A.R.M. Holding and Julius Baer. We feel privileged to operate in a city that comes together to make things possible and we look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible at the end of March.