The 13th edition of Abu Dhabi Art Fair opens to the public

Abu Dhabi Art Fair

Abu Dhabi Art 2021 returns to Manarat Al Saadiyat from 17 – 21 November 2021

Featuring 49 galleries from 19 countries, the 13th edition of Abu Dhabi Art is hosting new curatorial frameworks by renowned curators and new commissioned artworks

Tickets are available for purchase here

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, the 13th edition of Abu Dhabi Art Fair will open to the public on Wednesday 17th November at 4 PM GST at Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi. Tickets are available for purchase on the Abu Dhabi Art website.

Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT – Abu Dhabi), the fair returning in its physical form will feature a diverse line-up of 49 galleries from 19 countries, who are representing more than 190 artists from around the globe and presenting over 600 artworks – bringing exceptional presentations to their booths. This year’s edition will feature 14 new galleries joining from Colombia, France, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore, Spain, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, as well as a rich curated fair programme experience, including Kind of Blue, a curated sector for the art fair by Simon Njami; the Performing Arts Programme, curated by Rose Lejeune; and the Beyond: Emerging Artists programme, curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath.

Commenting on this year’s Abu Dhabi Art Fair, HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi said, “Gathering safely in-person for this 13th edition of Abu Dhabi Art in Manarat Al Saadiyat is a testament to the collective efforts of those across the arts and culture sector of Abu Dhabi and beyond. Our thanks to the many distinguished guests, partners, exhibitors, curators and artists who are joining us in Abu Dhabi, a nexus of multinational talent where the next generation of emerging artistic voices are given a crucial platform to contribute to a sustainable arts and culture ecosystem.”

Building on the success of the fair’s first virtual edition in 2020, Abu Dhabi Art, has invited last year’s guest curators, Simon Njami and Rose Lejeune, to offer them the opportunity to bring their new curatorial frameworks and research to Abu Dhabi Art in its physical format.

Dyala Nusseibeh, Director, Abu Dhabi Art, said, “Abu Dhabi Art has officially opened with a near record number of 49 galleries presenting exceptional booths, which speaks to the thriving art community in the UAE and the support shown here in Abu Dhabi for artists and galleries during the pandemic, through our online edition last year and throughout the year. Returning galleries can’t wait to reconnect with members of the public and collectors in person once again and first-time exhibitors look forward to meeting all the supporters, visitors and patrons that shape the fair each year.”

For more information on Abu Dhabi Art’s 2021 programme and tickets, please visit Tickets to Abu Dhabi Art Fair 2021 are AED55 for adults, covering all five days of the fair, and complimentary for children below seven years of age, students, People of Determination, and senior citizens.

Abu Dhabi Art is open to the public from the 17 – 21 November 2021. Visitors can attend the art fair from 4-9 PM GST on 17 November and from 1-9 PM GST from 18 – 21 November.

Abu Dhabi Art Fair 2021 highlights include:

  • The Modern & Contemporary gallery sector of the fair will feature 26 galleries from 15 countries around the world, presenting a wide range of works by different artists.
  • TheSpecial Projects gallery sector will feature 21 galleries from 6 countries, presenting curated booths by one, two or three artists.
  • Kind of Blue: Simon Njami spotlights artists and galleries under a new curatorial framework, Kind of Blue, a curated gallery sector that positions jazz music as a metaphor for the open-ended parameters of the exhibition. Kind of Blue, will present works from four participating galleries: Afriart Gallery (Kampala, Uganda),representing Richard Atugonza and Charlene Komuntale, Galerie MAM (Douala, Cameroon), representing Bili Bidjocka and Joël Yonkeu, Primo Marella Gallery (Milan, Italy), representing Abdoulaye Konaté, and Sabrina Amrani (Madrid, Spain), representing Nicène Kossentini and Joël Andrianomearisoa.
  • Performing Arts Programme: Curated byRose Lejeune, the programme will bring together four new performance commissions by Louise Hervé & Clovis Maillet, Mays Albaik, Rand Abdul Jabbar and Super Taus, who are each offering an abstract and poetic experience this year.
  • Gateway: Abu Dhabi Art in partnership with Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and the National Pavilion UAE – La Biennale di Venezia will be showcasing Passage, an immersive video and sound installation created by artist Nujoom Alghanem for the National Pavilion UAE’s 2019 exhibition at the Venice Biennale. Passage will premiere in the UAE as part of Abu Dhabi Art’s annual Gateway sector, which highlights local and international artists through globally relevant curatorial framework. The exhibition will then be on show as part of and ADMAF’s 2022 flagship exhibition, Portrait of a Nation II.

Placing a strong emphasis on a diverse and accessible public engagement programme, Abu Dhabi Art plays an important role in nurturing up-and-coming talent and offers an annual meeting point for galleries to connect with the UAE art scene and the wider global art world. Highlights include:

  • Beyond: Emerging Artists 2021: Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, co-founders of multidisciplinary curatorial platform Art Reoriented and co-directors of the Hamburger Bahnhof museum, the programme will present new works by three UAE-based emerging artists – Hashel Al Lamki presenting Neptune, Maitha Abdalla presenting Too Close to the Sun, and Christopher Joshua Benton presenting The World was my Garden. Their exhibition will be on show at Manarat Al Saadiyat from 17 November 2021 until 4 December 2021. This year’s programme is also the inaugural commission of Abu Dhabi Art’s newly launched initiative, Friends of Abu Dhabi Art.
  • Beyond: Artist Commissions: This year’s ambitious programme will see five new art commissions, with works being shown in cultural sites throughout the capital by artists Aya Haidar presenting Dwelling On The Past, is on display in Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain, Hazem Harb presenting Between Earth and Heaven: Borders are Only in our Minds, at Manarat Al Saadiyat and Jebel Hafeet Desert Park in Al Ain, Dr. Najat Makki presenting Ya Marhaba Al Saa’, at the entrance to Manarat Al Saadiyat and at the Al Ain Oasis, Rasheed Araeen presenting acommunal café made of eight gazebos which are joined together in a square, titled, Food for Thought – Thought for Change, will be open to the public at the entrance of Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation between 12 – 2PM GST as of 15 November and throughout the duration of the fair. and Richard Atugonza presenting At Heart but Far, is on display at Manarat Al Saadiyat and Jebel Hafeet Desert Park.The artists’ works will be revealed during the fair and will remain on view to the public until 22 January 2022.
  • In & Around: The commissioned artists for Beyond: Artist Commissions will also be showing large-scale artworks at the fair as part of Abu Dhabi Art’s on-site programme, In and Around, to connect fairgoers to the off-site projects. Other artists whose works will be presented as part of In and Around include Alfredo Jaar, Hera Büyüktaşcıyan, Olga de Amaral, Seher Naveed, Siah Armajani, Zarina and Zineb Sedira.
  • Educational Programme: Abu Dhabi Art is also offering stimulating art workshops, artist-led masterclasses, tours in English and Arabic and competitions for the community for all ages. Please visit our website to learn more about this year’s schedule.

Abu Dhabi Art 2021 workshops:

  • School workshops (tours) will take place between 9AM – 1PM GST on 17, 18 and 21 November. The session duration is 30min with three activities inspired by artists participating in the fair. Through the workshops, students can discover print making or abstract assemblage. The cost per session is AED25.
  • 3 – 5yrs old Drop-in workshops 1pm – 8pm are open on 17 November through 21 November, for children and adults to conduct a series of self-led art activities inspired by artworks at the fair. The cost per session is AED30.
  • 6 – 12 yrs. old: Hands-on art activities workshops daily during the fair for 1.5hrs per session. Workshops are open between 1PM – 8PM GST on 17 November through 21 November.
  • Artist-led masterclasses are available for both adults and teens (ages 13+). All art activities and masterclasses take inspiration from works seen at Abu Dhabi Art. The cost per session for both virtual and in person participations is AED150.

Masterclasses at Manarat Al Saadiyat

  • Wednesday 17 November 2021, 5 – 7PM GST, Wardha Shabbir will host Miniature Painting
  • Friday 19 November 2021, 5 – 7PM GST, Hazem Harb will present Collaging Memory
  • Tuesday 23 November 2021, 5 – 7PM Hashel Al Lamki and Maitha Abdalla will present Figure and Abstraction: Art In Dialogue
  • Wednesday 24 November 2021, 3 – 5PM GST, Sarah Al Mehairi will present Sensory Mapping and Found Tools

Masterclasses at Umm Al Emarat Park

  • Sunday 5 December 2021, 3 – 5PM, Rand Abdul Jabbar will present Objects of Memory: Drawing Walk

Abu Dhabi Art 2021 tours:

  • Complimentary 45-minute educational and interactive guided tours of the Abu Dhabi Art fair and exhibitions led by a Visitor Experience Specialist. Available both virtually and in-person in either Arabic or English.
    • In person tours runs daily during the fair, every hour, for 1 hour between 1 – 8PM GST.
    • Virtual tours of the exhibitions and installations will run from 17 November to 22 January 2022.

Abu Dhabi Art and Factory People are collaborating this year to bring 2ND SUN to Abu Dhabi. 2ND SUN will host regional and global music artists within its club nights. Expect a large number of LIVE performances, DJ sets and futuristic productions lined up on 18 and 19 November 2021 from 9PM – 3AM GST at Manarat Al Saadiyat. Book your Abu Dhabi Art Fair ticket here to get complimentary access to 2ND SUN events at the fair. Due to limited capacity permitted, access to 2ND SUN events at the fair will be on a first come, first serve basis.

Abu Dhabi Art kicks off the art season in the capital alongside major events at Abu Dhabi’s cultural district on Saadiyat Island with new exhibitions opening at both Louvre Abu Dhabi and New York University Abu Dhabi Art Gallery.

Precautionary and hygiene measures will be enforced at Abu Dhabi Art Fair 2021 to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all participants and visitors. Following Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee’s (NCEMA) latest regulations and requirements for attending events and exhibitions, visitors will need to have AlHosn, and a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours. Visitors who are 16 years and above require a green status on the COVID-19 tracking app, ALHOSN and a 96hr negative PCR test.

For more information about Abu Dhabi Art 2021 and its year-round programmes, visit and follow Abu Dhabi Art on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Organised by Abu Dhabi Culture and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Art 2021 partners include First Abu Dhabi Bank, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Al Ain Oasis, Al Jahili Fort, Khalifa University, Annex Abu Dhabi, 2ND SUN, The Edit by Zahrat Al Khaleej, Etihad Airways, St. Regis Hotel and EDITION Hotel Group; with Mouawad as the Education Programme sponsor.

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