Christie’s are the leading art auctioneers in the Middle East and the leading art business in the world. As the first international auction house to have a permanent presence in the region, as well as the first to hold auctions, they provided the first international platform for artists of the region.
Christie’s has sold just under $200 million of art, watches and jewellery in the Middle East since the first international art auction in the region took place in 2006, and has seen buyers from as many as 30 different countries participating in the sales. These figures confirm that there continues to be a fast-growing appetite and appreciation for art in the Middle East and they are proud to play an important part in promoting and celebrating art events in the region and in leading the international development of the vibrant Middle Eastern art market.
In addition to the regular auctions, Christie’s is keen to encourage and support educational opportunities and holds exhibitions, educational seminars and charity auctions throughout the region.
In April 2005, Christie’s opened an office in Dubai and became the first international auction house to have a permanent base in the Middle East. Christie’s first auction in the region took place in May 2006 and offered international modern and contemporary art from the Arab World, as well as from Iran, India, Pakistan and the West. The sale took place in a packed saleroom and was a huge success realising US$8.5 million, and announcing the arrival of a new and vibrant sales centre for the international art market. This and subsequent sales have established the foundation of a prosperous and sustainable art market in the region.
In 2007, Christie’s introduced spring and autumn sales offering Jewels and Watches alongside the art auctions. In 2008, Christie’s held an exhibition of leading international sale highlights and loans from private collectors at the Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi. More recently Christie’s has introduced special sections for Turkish and Saudi Arabian contemporary art.
In October 2010 Christie’s hosted a public art exhibition Doha: The Arab Capital of Culture 2010, the initiative undertaken by the Arab League and Unesco to promote and celebrate Arab culture in the region. In November 2010, Opening the Doors: Collecting Middle Eastern Art, an exhibition of works secured by Christie’s and organised by Abu Dhabi Art 2010 was held at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. This exhibition of ninety museum quality works dating from the 1920’s to 2010, was the first of its kind to bring together masterpieces from among the finest private collections in the Middle East.
In April 2010 Christie’s was entrusted with selling 25 works from the Dr. Mohammed Said Farsi collection. This was followed in October with Part II of the collection which was also 100% sold. Totalling $15.4 million, the Farsi collection is now the highest selling private collection offered at auction in the Middle East.
Today more than 30 countries are participating in Christie’s Dubai sales, demonstrating the international interest in Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art.
Christie’s, the world’s leading art business had global auction and private sales in 2010 that totaled £3.3 billion/$5.0 billion. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie’s conducted the greatest auctions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and today remains a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s has 53 offices in 32 countries and 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai and Hong Kong.
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