Sotheby’s, the New York-based fine art auction house, has officially opened Sotheby’s Dubai in the heart of the Dubai International Financial Centre in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The new office and gallery space complements Sotheby’s existing network of offices across the region and will serve clients through an expanded program of year-round events, including selling and non-selling exhibitions, events and talks. As part of the opening celebrations, highlights from Sotheby’s upcoming global auctions of Modern and Contemporary Arab and Iranian Art, Treasures of the Islamic World, Jewelry and Watches will be on exhibition from 14-19 March.
(Photo above: H.H. Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak Nahyan, Minister of Culture & Knowledge Development, and Sotheby’s CEO Tad Smith celebrate the opening of Sotheby’s Dubai.)
“The Middle East, and especially the United Arab Emirates, has grown and prospered at an extraordinary pace and Sotheby’s is proud to celebrate forty years of service to clients in the region by opening a new gallery and office space in Dubai,” said Tad Smith, Sotheby’s President and CEO. He added, “We look forward to bringing our history and expertise and contributing to an even greater future on this fulcrum of the world’s jewelry, art, and luxury car markets.”
The launch of Sotheby’s Dubai follows significant growth in the number of Middle Eastern client participating in the Sotheby’s global sales, resulting in a 30% increase in the number of buyers from the region over the last five years. While the growth is across categories – including Contemporary, Impressionist, Modern and Middle Eastern Art, as well as Old Master Paintings – Jewelry is an area of particular focus, driving a 46% increase in the total value spent by clients in the region from 2015 to 2016.
Additionally, all Sotheby’s sales are open to online bidding and nearly 20% of purchases across the business were made online in 2016. This gateway has gained significant traction with Middle Eastern clients resulting in a 47% increase in the total value of their purchases online.
Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012).