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2nd Middle East Waste and Environmental

Management Congress - Dead Sea
17-19 February, 2009


أخبار الشرق الأوسط الاقتصادية - Middle East Regional Economic News - 共發現

Art patronage key to enhancing the regional community, says Art Dubai

29 October 2008:

As a growing number of companies look to contribute to the cultural growth of the region, the Middle East is set to benefit from this trend as it hosts key initiatives such as Art Dubai.  At the same time, an increasing number of corporations, from luxury goods manufacturers to finance houses, are aligning themselves with art events to enhance their community involvement and to reach key client demographics.

With a recent report by the Financial Times that arts sponsorship in the United Kingdom reached just under £600m in the last 10 years - almost a third of which is from corporations – organisations such as Art Dubai are in discussions with a range of potential patrons – from property developers wanting to create cultural spaces within their iconic projects – to Gulf-based banks.

Taking the lead in art sponsorship is Abraaj Capital, with its $1 million endowment of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize. The Art Dubai 2009 program will feature the inaugural exhibition of the prize, which is the world’s most generous contemporary art award. The prize is aimed at providing opportunities for artists from across the MENASA region and is an initiative by Abraaj Capital to participate in the further development of the regional arts community.

Art Dubai, which began in Dubai in March 2007 as the DIFC Gulf Art Fair, has witnessed a double-digit growth in the level of interest from potential corporate brand partners, following its collaboration with Abraaj Capital, a Dubai-based private equity group, and support from such brands as Credit Suisse and Van Cleef & Arpels.

“Not only are corporations in the Middle East increasingly investing in art to build their own collections, but companies from the luxury goods, property development, hospitality, and other industries are following the lead of the financial services sector and aligning their brands with key regional and international art events to reach specific audiences and support the organic growth of the arts community,” said Benedict Floyd, co-founder and partner in Art Dubai.

According to Floyd, art offers many advantages to corporate patrons ranging from the aesthetic value to furthering the Middle East’s development as a cultural hub.

“Although Art Dubai is a focal point to understanding the seriousness of the region’s cultural ambitions, it also enables companies to contribute substantially to the development of the region’s arts community, while reaching collectors and other audiences through integrated partnerships,” said Floyd.

The third edition of Art Dubai will take place at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai from 18-21 March, 2009.  Cultural tourism is a key element of Art Dubai’s mission, as the fair seeks to attract more than 5000 - 6000 visitors from overseas, doubling the number of overseas visitors who came in 2008.

For further information contact:

Eileen Wallis                          
The Portsmouth Group

P.O. Box  71765                                                                                  
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Tel: +971 4 3693575

Fax: +971 4 3604511


Notes to Editors:

For further information about the Art Dubai, participating galleries, art projects, events and the education programme please visit

Art Dubai is a subsidiary of the Dubai International Financial centre and is held in partnership with Abraaj capital. Madinat Jumeirah is the exclusive hotel partner for the event.

About DIFC: The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is an onshore hub for global finance. It bridges the time gap between the financial centres of Hong Kong and London and services a region with the largest untapped emerging market for financial services.

In just three years, over 550 firms have registered at the DIFC. They operate in an open environment complemented with world-class regulations and standards. The DIFC offers its member institutions incentives such as 100 per cent foreign ownership, zero tax on income and profits and no restrictions on foreign exchange. In addition their business benefits from modern infrastructure, operational support and business continuity facilities of uncompromisingly high standards.

About Abraaj Capital: Dubai-based Abraaj Capital is the largest private equity company in the Middle East and North Africa with more than US$ 7.5 billion of assets under management. Established in 2002, the company has led the way in developing the private equity industry in the Middle East. Abraaj Capital Ltd. is licensed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority, which operates according to international regulator standards. The company’s 167 employees incorporate talent and experience from among the world’s best known companies, and span more than two dozen nationalities. Abraaj Capital invests in the growing Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region. 

 For more information please visit



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