Anna Seaman | October 31, 2013
The biannual Christie’s auction came to a close last night with the second part of the sale in Dubai but art enthusiasts and collectors still have another chance at buying over this weekend with the first Estuary Auction to be held in Dubai.
Previously, Estuary Auctions have had sales in Abu Dhabi but tomorrow and Saturday, they are holding an exhibition and auction at the Mina Al Salam Hotel in Dubai. The lots include contemporary art by Dia Al Azzawi and Jaber Alwan as well as some Victorian and early 20th century furniture, 19th century Ottoman, Persian, and Iraqi silver and fine antique Persian rugs and carpets.
Here Ali Al Bayaty, the CEO of Estuary Auctions shares his thoughts ahead of the coming sale:
Q: Why is the Middle East such an important market for Estuary Auctions?
A: The UAE has become a cultural, touristic, educational and trading hub in the Middle East especially with the government’s initiatives and ambitions on establishing national and world renowned museums in the capital.
Q: Who is your target buyer?
A: Our sixth auction in Dubai is offering a wide spectrum of collectible and decorative pieces that cover almost all personal interests and budgets.
Q: Your head office is in Abu Dhabi – have you noticed an increased appetite for this kind of art in recent years?
A: Yes, the interest is rising gradually together with awareness and appreciation of both the Antiques and the Contemporary Arts.
Q: Do you feel competition from leading international auction houses such as Christie’s who have just had their semi-annual sale?
A: No, Estuary Auctions ambition and goal is to raise world awareness that the UAE is becoming an Antique and Fine Art hub that will eventually attract collectors and visitors from East to West. Europe has an uncountable number of Auction houses, fairs and galleries, we hope that this will also be witnessed in the UAE. Therefore, we consider the competition healthy by offering collectors and buyers more and more options. Furthermore, Estuary Auctions offers antiques along with Modern and Contemporary Art for all different individual interests and personal budgets.
Q: What would you say is the most covetable item in this specific auction?
A: All the pieces are unique and selected and filtered after guaranteeing their authenticity without any defects or damage prior to their consignment. All the pieces are covetable since I am personally a general collector and they are all decorative.
Q: What is your general opinion of the art market in the UAE and the region as a whole?
A: Growing steadily. However, the current trend is on Contemporary and Modern Art. There is a hidden beauty in Antiques and the old, the techniques used then are now extinct or it is almost impossible to find masters that can duplicate. Therefore, I hope for an appreciation of both the old and historical and the Modern. I also hope to witness more rising national and home grown talent in the U.A.E. with regards to Modern and Contemporary works of Art.