The leading global platform for art and artists from the Middle East and Global South, Art Dubai, launched its 16th edition on Wednesday featuring over 130 galleries from over 40 countries.

Open for VIP previews on March 1 and 2, and for the public between March 3 and 5, Art Dubai features galleries across four main sections: Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba, and Art Dubai Digital, reported the Emirates’ News Agency.

Art Dubai’s Executive Director Benedetta Ghione said they have always tried to reframe what an art fair can be, and this year’s expanded program fully reflects their role as a meeting point for the region’s creative industries, across the commercial and not-for-profit sectors.

“As an independent organization, we pride ourselves on being more than an art fair – we are an incubator of talent, a catalyst for Dubai’s creative economy, a convener of great minds, and an entry point to this vibrant ecosystem for the wider cultural sector,” said Ghione.

Held under the patronage of the UAE’s Vice President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Art Dubai is being held at Madinat Jumeirah Dubai.

The platform’s partner and non-profit program, which includes newly commissioned works by renowned artists, is equally ambitious. Moreover, an expanded education and thought leadership program makes this the largest and most comprehensive edition of the fair yet.

Meanwhile, Pablo del Val, the artistic director, said Art Dubai has been a place to discover and celebrate new trends, creating and facilitating conversations, and celebrating the strength of creative output across the Global South.

“Art Dubai is a truly global art fair, and this is reflected in both the quality and geographic spread of the galleries participating this year,” added del Val.

The 2023 fair includes over 30 first-time participants and more than 60 percent of the gallery program is drawn from the Global South, reaffirming Art Dubai’s position as the leading marketplace for art from this rapidly developing region.

Art Dubai Contemporary showcases the very best in cutting-edge contemporary art from 76 galleries in 34 countries, with an emphasis on art and artists from the Global South.

The 16th edition welcomes 14 debut exhibitors and 12 galleries returning to Art Dubai after a hiatus. Additionally, the fair will feature 24 Dubai-based galleries, the largest number to date, reflecting Dubai’s thriving artistic ecosystem and its growing significance as a global hub for creativity and culture.