The oil reserves might be running out in a couple of years, but there is no atmosphere of gloom in Dubai whatsoever. After having reinvented itself as an international hub for business, air travel and tourism, Dubai, an artificial paradise in the middle of a wider region in turmoil with a lively artistic production, wants to become the showcase of the art market in the MENASA (Middle- East, North Africa, South Asia).

With the ninth edition of Art Dubai, the emirate confirms its self- declared position of being the most globalised art fair in the world. Critics and curators from institutions worldwide are flown in, mingling with artists from Lebanon, Iran or Syria, being served non- stop floods of champagne by Asian immigrant workers, while international expats and tacky tourists from Russia stand by and watch. And that in the unlikely setting of a Disneyland for supposedly grown- ups, a halal version of Las Vegas or a mecca for hyper-capitalism. The sky is clearly still the limit.

Art Dubai shuttle service, besides Maseratti, Art Dubai's official Automotive Sponsor

Art Dubai shuttle service, besides Maseratti, Art Dubai’s official Automotive Sponsor

Art Dubai's director Antonia Carver

Art Dubai’s director Antonia Carver

Burj Al Arab

Matteo Consonni from Galleria Franco Noero (Turin), Dina Baitassova from Kazach art foundation IADA, German collector

Emirati

Emirati

Galerie Imane Farès

Galerie Imane Farès

Kader Attia @ Galleria Continua

Kader Attia @ Galleria Continua

local art collectors

Local art collectors

Madinat Jumeirah, a real fake recreation of ancient Arabia where the fair takes place

Madinat Jumeirah, a “real fake” recreation of ancient Arabia, where the fair takes place

Mohamed Melehi @ Loft Art Gallery - section Modern

Mohamed Melehi @ Loft Art Gallery – section Modern

Opening night

Opening night

Sybille du Roy, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, in front of a work by David Adamo

Sybille du Roy, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, in front of a work by David Adamo

The building where the Modern Section takes places and the ambitious Global Art Forum

The building where the Modern Section takes places and the ambitious Global Art Forum

Tiffany Young's impression of Syrian bombed cities @ Tyler Rollins Fine Art

Tiffany Young’s impression of Syrian bombed cities @ Tyler Rollins Fine Art