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World Art Dubai returns with its 10th edition, showcases hundreds of local and international artists

26 Mar, 2024

Marking a decade of artistic excellence, World Art Dubai (WAD), the region’s largest contemporary art fair, is poised to present its most ambitious edition at Dubai World Trade Centre from 2nd to 5th May 2024. This year, in partnership with Dubai Culture, WAD invites art enthusiasts to embark on a journey through a decade of artistic evolution, offering an unparalleled experience of art from around the globe, emphasising its commitment to making art even more accessible to a wider audience.

Dubai’s ambitious goal to double the contribution of the creative industries to its GDP by 2026 under the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy, involves not only doubling the number of creative companies and creators in the emirate but also highlights the immense significance of World Art Dubai’s contribution to this thriving creative economy. This prominent art exhibition serves as a cornerstone in the realisation of these goals by drawing in thousands of visitors, showcasing the works of over 300 artists and galleries from Dubai and across the globe, presenting a diverse array of artworks, from sculpture and watercolours to digital art and fashion art pieces.

More than just an art fair, WAD represents a cultural phenomenon. For 2024, WAD is poised to amplify its numbers, showcasing a diverse array of over 4,000 artworks from more than 65 countries and expecting over 15,000 visitors. The fair will be set across 12 pavilions dedicated to countries and regions, including Japan, India, China, Turkey, Iran, America, Asia, Russia, UAE, Europe, the UK and Arabia. Over four days, visitors can engage in a variety of activities that go beyond traditional art exhibitions. WAD will feature experiential art activations, live performances, and curated art talks and workshops. These interactive elements are designed to create a holistic cultural experience, celebrating the vibrancy and diversity of the global art scene.

Exhibitors offered art tourism experience

In 2024, WAD will also unveil an innovative addition to its repertoire: The WAD Tourism Art Tour, designed for all exhibitors. Through curated guided tours and interactive local art interactions around the emirates, WAD is poised to redefine boundaries and captivate audiences from around the world, celebrating the diversity and brilliance of artistic expression.

Marking a significant milestone, Asma Al Sharif, Assistant Vice President at Exhibitions, Dubai World Trade Centre said: “As we celebrate a decade of artistic brilliance with the 10th edition of World Art Dubai, we’re honoured to have Dubai Culture as our strategic partner and excited to introduce a ground-breaking initiative that goes beyond the confines of the art fair. With the launch of WAD Tourism Art Tour, we aim to provide our exhibitors and participants with an immersive journey through the rich tapestry of the UAE’s art and cultural offerings while spotlighting Dubai’s vibrant art scene on the global stage. This initiative underscores our commitment to enhancing the participant journey, fostering cultural exchange and strengthening Dubai’s position as a global cultural destination.”

Dr Saeed Mubarak Kharbash, CEO of the Arts and Literature Sector at Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, expressed his enthusiasm for the strategic partnership between Dubai Culture and World Art Dubai: “This collaboration underscores our shared commitment to advancing Dubai’s cultural and creative industries. By joining forces with World Art Dubai, we aim to make art more accessible to a wider audience and contribute to the realisation of the emirate’s ambitious goals outlined in the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy. Through this partnership, we look forward to showcasing the vibrancy and diversity of the global art scene while highlighting Dubai’s position as a thriving cultural destination.”

Unique offerings from legacy exhibitors

In the vibrant landscape of WAD 2024, a myriad of distinguished artists are poised to captivate visitors with their unique perspectives and creative prowess, including legacy exhibitors such as Lotus Educational Institute, Art Plus Photographers Production, and JAPAN PROMOTION Gallery, which have spent between eight and nine years each exhibiting at the annual show.

Speaking on behalf of the 54-strong artist collective representing JAPAN PROMOTION Gallery, Momoko Ishikawa said: “We are honoured to represent the Japan booth showcasing groups of Japanese artists. A notable aspect of our exhibition is the availability of contemporary art and artworks that utilise traditional techniques, offering unique pieces not found elsewhere in Dubai. At the Taimei Gallery booth, a significant focus will be on artworks using the ‘maki-e’ technique. Maki-e, a painting technique born approximately 1200 years ago, has been cherished by the nobility throughout history. It is characterised by the serene beauty that emerges from combining the natural hues of the material, the deep lustre of lacquer, and the brilliance of gold and silver.
“The creation process is incredibly delicate and time-consuming, achievable only by craftsmen with high levels of skill and extensive experience. Prosperity Japan’s booth will present framed works and tapestries utilising the ‘nishijin-ori’ weaving technique, which has a history of over 1000 years. This technique involves intricately weaving dyed silk threads to create patterns, producing a fabric with a three-dimensional feel that shows a diversity of colours changing exquisitely with the light. While traditionally used for kimono fabrics, its beauty and high fidelity in pattern reproduction have been reimagined in art pieces.”
With unique offerings such as this, WAD 2024 promises to be an immersive journey through the rich tapestry of global art and culture, spotlighting Dubai’s vibrant art scene on the global stage.

For the 2024 edition, an impressive 40% of exhibitors are returning to exhibit, a testament to the value they find in being part of this vibrant artistic community. This high rate of exhibitor retention reflects the trust and satisfaction exhibitors have in the platform, further solidifying WAD’s position as a premier destination for artists and galleries alike. With a growing roster of returning participants, WAD continues to foster long-lasting relationships and provide a supportive environment for artistic growth and collaboration.

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