Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) to Launch its 1st UAE Office in Dubai this Year
Sotheby’s, which has offices in Doha, Istanbul, Egypt, Lebanon and Mumbai, is hiring staff for its office in Dubai
International auction house Sotheby’s plans to open its 1st gallery in Dubai as part of efforts to capitalize on demand for Middle Eastern art coming from the region.
“Over the last five years we have seen that the number of clients participating in our global sales has more than doubled, and the spending by these clients has nearly tripled,” said Edward Gibbs, senior director and chairman, Middle East and India.
“By expanding in the region we are seeking to serve our clients as best as we can,” he added.
Sotheby’s, which has offices in Doha, Istanbul, Egypt, Lebanon and Mumbai, has begun hiring staff for its office in Dubai.
The company has recorded 16% Y-Y growth in the region and enjoyed a 46% increase in spending by regional clients at its global auctions.
In the UAE in particular, the auction house has recorded a significant 147% increase in sales with demand driven by products such as watches, jewelry, contemporary and modern art.
“The economic crisis has curtailed the crazy spending we’ve seen five and six years ago. But the savvy collectors are cautious and don’t mind spending on art that is rare, fresh and of museum quality,” said Ashkan Baghestani, Head of Sales and deputy director of contemporary and modern Arab Iranian art.
There is a large interest in modern art among the younger generation from the region.
“The modernist movement is only now being recognized. Modern art has been undervalued and not appreciated until now and so there is a lot of room for growth. Middle Eastern art is considered as an emerging market internationally,” he said.
The company also said it witnessed strong interest for art emerging from its online platform.
The number of clients from the Middle East registering to bid and buy online has almost doubled. There was a 30% increase in online billing last year.
The company emphasized the importance of educating clients on the subject of art.
Sotheby’s plans to host education programs with regular lectures, gallery talks and art fairs at the new Dubai office.
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By Hilda D’Souza
Paul Ebeling, Editor
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