Fairs Market United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi Art washed out by biggest storm since 1993

Fair closed on its second day due to water leaking, so far no reports have been made of serious damage to works of art

Water leaked into the fair's main building, the sand dune-shaped UAE pavilion

The Abu Dhabi Art fair has closed on its second day due to water leaking into its main building, the sand dune-shaped pavilion that is the UAE’s legacy from the Expo 2010 Shanghai. It did not stand up to last night’s storm, which was the worst to hit the Gulf since 1993. The Dubai Air show, an event at which hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business is being done, has also closed.

At three am, the shippers Hasenkamp were in the pavilion protecting the works and so far no reports of serious damage to any of them have been made. Some dealers are angry because they remember the building leaking three years ago when it was first used, but Mohammed Hafiz of Athr Gallery from Jeddah said, “We want to be accommodating because this has been an act of God”.

Christopher Bentley of AXA Art insurance said, “If a work displayed on a gallery's stand is damaged, that is normally covered by its insurance. Usually exhibitors don't insure against a fair being cancelled and the consequent loss of earnings, although such insurance does exist. Whether the exhibitors have a claim for this on the fair organisers will depend on the terms of the contract between them."

Later in the day, the organisers reopened the adjacent Manarat Al Saadiyat, in which part of the fair and all the talks are taking place, and tomorrow’s programming will go ahead as planned, although more rain is expected.

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