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Photo: Art Dubai.

Art Dubai Unwavering in Commitment to Physical 2021 Event

Art Dubai may be the first international art fair to take place in 2021, according to The Art Newspaper. The fourteenth iteration of the annual event is scheduled to run March 17–21 and additionally takes place in the year marking the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the United Arab Emirates. The fair, whose 2020 edition was abruptly canceled owing to the Covid-19 pandemic just two weeks before opening, expects to host eighty-six galleries from thirty-six countries, with roughly 90 percent of participants returning.

Pablo del Val, the fair’s artistic director, said that the strong percentage of returning galleries spoke to the participants’ “shared desire to reconnect in the same location.”

He was similarly confident that collectors would return to the fair as well, saying, “While the past year has shown the market’s capacity to adapt and innovate, we continue to believe in the importance of bringing communities together at physical events.” Art Dubai’s 2019 iteration, the last one to be held in person, drew more than 28,000 visitors from around the globe.

Fair organizers are planning to modify the layout and engineer the flow at host venue Madinat Jumeirah to accommodate social distancing and allow for safe crowd management, Del Val said, with local protocol dictating standards surrounding temperature checks, disinfection, and mask wearing. Those wishing to attend events inside or outside the venue must prebook in advance through the fair’s system. Among these are artist-led experiences including beach performances, tours of textile souks, boat trips, and a karaoke performance.

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