The 15th annual Art Dubai fair included the debut of ‘Art Dubai Digital’, a real-life marketplace for non-fungible tokens and digital art.
The biggest art fair in the United Arab Emirates, World Art Dubai took place from March 16 – 19th and by hosting its inaugural NFT exhibition platform this year it saw record attendance and sales across the event.
30,000 visitors attended Art Dubai 2022, with many tourists flying into the UAE to see the over 120 artistic presentations across 104 galleries and other platforms representing 44 countries.
Real Life NFT Marketplace
Most NFTs are bought and sold at online NFT marketplaces like Opensea or occasionally at physical auction houses like Sotheby’s or Christie’s.
Real-life NFT exhibitions in terms of a gallery the public can walk around and view digital art and NFTs represented in physical form are relatively rare, and increasingly in popular demand.
Dubai-based Arabic news channel Al Arabiya interviewed Pablo del Val, artistic director at Art Dubai:
The response from audiences and collectors to the debut edition of Art Dubai Digital has been truly incredible. Art Dubai prides itself on being a fair of innovation and forward-thinking, and there was a real freshness and energy to the 2022 edition across the whole program. This was without doubt one of the most successful editions of Art Dubai, in terms of both visitors and sales reported, reflecting Dubai’s position as an engine of global growth.
Cryptocurrency exchange Bybit was involved in setting up the physical NFT marketplace for Art Dubai and helping it be a success.
Head of communications at Bybit exchange Igneus Terrenus also spoke to Al Arabiya:
The new section dedicated to digital art gave a voice to emerging artists and market participants, many of whom are first-timers at an international art fair.
The mainstreaming of NFTs gives artists another way to reach their audience and get recognized and rewarded for their creations.
It offers verifiable ownership validated on the blockchain – a way for NFT holders to truly own a piece of culture they feel a connection to and back an artist without navigating the complexity of the conventional art trading market.
This is a new supply chain that goes on to contribute to world-building in the metaverse. We see NFT solutions to be part of the infrastructure layer of Web 3.
Many crypto traders, NFT investors and other digital nomads have made a home in Dubai as it currently has a zero percent personal income tax.
Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product.