Myrna Ayad, an arts writer, editor and consultant, has been appointed the new director of Art Dubai. She replaces Antonia Carver who has been named global director of Art Jameel, the Saudi arts and culture foundation, which partnered with London’s Victoria and Albert Museum to create the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art. Carver will continue her relationship with Art Dubai by joining the fair's advisory board.
Over the past five years, Art Dubai has seen visitor number rise from 20,000 to 25,000 and gallery application numbers increase by around 45%. Carver says in a statement that “there has never been such a palpable engagement from the global arts community in the work being produced by artists in the Middle East and South Asia, and we’re really proud of the role played by Art Dubai in this process.”
Ayad is a prominent writer and cultural commentator on the Middle East, writing for several publications including The Art Newspaper. She joins a growing group of former writers and editors who have become fair directors, including Marc Spiegler of Art Basel, Noah Horowitz of Art Basel in Miami Beach and Benjamin Genocchio of the Armory Show.
Ayad says: “As journalists and writers, we talk to everyone, from artists and curators to collectors and gallerists and more—all people whom we continue talking to as art fair directors. This offers a holistic view of the market. I’ve watched and covered Art Dubai since its inception, and my key hope is to build on its success as the region’s foremost fair and a global cultural institution in its own right.”