Dubai: Velocity and Intimacy
By Saira Ansari
As the global events of 2020 barreled through the United Arab Emirates, state-mandated regulations and travel bans caused the UAE to shrink to their actual geographical scale in a way that I haven’t experienced here in the last decade. This was especially true for the local art community, which relies heavily on artists, collectors, and audiences based outside the country. Art spaces and government bodies went into troubleshooting mode, setting up temporary funds and relief plans for artists and galleries—which was great in theory but not always effective or entirely altruistic. In retrospect, the past two years have been about taking stock of how wide the chasm is between policymakers and art professionals.