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Sotheby's opens Dubai gallery to satisfy Middle East buyers

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(16 Mar 2017) LEADIN:?Sotheby's is aiming to capitalise on demand from Middle Eastern clients by opening a gallery in Dubai, its first in the region.Over the last five years, the 273-year-old auction house says its seen the number of Middle Eastern clients grow by 76 percent.? ?STORYLINE ? ?Good news for UAE art collectors - when hoping to buy prized items from famed auction house Sotheby's, there's now no need to hop on a private jet to London.?That's because Sotheby's has opened this new office and gallery space in Dubai's Financial District.?They're now giving tours of the new gallery space to interested parties.? ?"Sotheby's is delighted to be in Dubai. We are launching our new office and gallery space here in DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre)," says Edward Gibbs, Chairman of Sotheby's Middle East and India. "We are travelling some highlights from our global sales. We've got modern and contemporary Arab and Iranian art, we've got arts of the classical Islamic world, orientalist paintings, and we've got some extraordinary pieces of jewellery and timepieces, watches from sales in London and New York."To christen its new gallery space, the auction house has brought a number of contemporary and traditional Middle Eastern artworks.?Also on display is a collection of expensive and rare watches. ?The auction house sold the world's most expensive 'super complication watch' for $24 million USD back in 2014. ?Sotheby's is giving Gulf buyers a slightly less expensive taste of that, displaying this 'super complication watch'. Bidding is expected to start from $6.4 to $9.9 million USD.?Gibbs says one of main reasons to open a gallery in the UAE is the sheer number of buyers coming from the region."It's really about the numbers," he says. "We've been looking at the growth of our client base in the region over the many years and over the last five years we see, participants from the Middle East growing at a rate of 76 percent. "Then we drilled down into those figures and we see specifically for the UAE 157 percent increase in the number of participants in our global sales. "And last year alone a 39 percent increase, so that uptick in interest and engagement from our UAE clients has initiated this launch of the office here in Dubai."Gibbs says the move wasn't prompted by Britain's plans to leave the European Union.?He says currency fluctuations around Britain's vote to leave the 28-member bloc have actually had a positive impact on their sales."There is no connection whatsoever between Brexit and our move here," he says."Brexit has interestingly has had a very beneficial effect on our London sales. In fact, we've seen all of our sales since the referendum result back last summer, we've seen all of them performing extremely well. I think the currency fluctuations have actually been tremendous benefit."Some of the paintings on display here will set wealthy collectors back up to $1.4 million USD. Such as this painting by German artist Georg Emanuel Opiz. ? ?The gallery says it will not only display Middle Eastern art and collectables.?"We will bring a whole range of different categories and we've, for this sale, for this particular exhibition, we are showing specifically works from the region, but we have plans for bringing highlights of impressionists, for instance," says Gibbs. "We are talking to our clients, listening to their needs, their wants, their desires all the time and we see that as their tastes evolve and they are collecting patterns develop, we see that they are increasingly international."Some of the world's biggest art collectors are from the Gulf region.?But with the recent drop in oil prices, Gibbs says sales have actually gone up rather than down.You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you... Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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AP Archive 4086285 ed533613807846ecfbcbac75de7fbbfb HZ UAE Sothebys Dubai Middle East Dubai United Arab Emirates London England United Kingdom Western Europe Business Lifestyle Arts and entertainment Brexit referendum
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