Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Artists who have dedicated much of their career to capturing the beauty and magnificence of Arabian horses have gathered at the Dubai International Horse Fair’s Art Gallery to display their one-of-a-kind pieces to the Middle East market. The new Art Gallery hosts 16 artists from across the globe including Canada, Italy, United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, France, India and UAE among others.
Drawing to a close today (Saturday 22 March), the 10th Dubai International Horse Fair has provided a lucrative trade platform for the widest range of international equine products, services, equipment and technology for horse owners, breeders and equine professionals in the Middle East. The event today culminates in the highly anticipated Horse Auction where 100 Arabian horse breeds of best-in-class pedigree from local studs will go under the hammer and it is anticipated to attract hundreds of prospective regional buyers. Meanwhile, the 11th Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship, held alongside the Dubai International Horse Fair, will today showcase the world’s best purebred Arabian horses that have been judged for their beauty, agility and heritage with prize money of USD4 million (AED15 million) up for grabs.
Emirati artist and horsewoman
Exhibiting for the first time at Dubai International Horse Fair is Emirati artist and horsewoman Budour Al Ali who has nine paintings on display. Her pieces focus on wildlife and UAE royalty, the most notable being a picture of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, among a group of deer and Oryx priced at AED30,000. Budour has regularly visited Dubai International Horse Fair since its inception 10 years ago and participates in several exhibitions around the world. She has recently opened her own showroom in Abu Dhabi. “My aim when participating in exhibitions is to make a mark in the field of Fine Arts and leave an impression on the people who see my paintings. It is also my mission to enrich and contribute ideas for the development of fine arts locally and globally,” she said.
Gold leaf paintings
Exhibiting for the third consecutive year at Dubai International Horse Fair is Mohamed Refaat, an Iranian artist with a talent for gold leaf paintings and also drawing and designing interiors and exteriors. Unique gold leaf paintings at his stand depict a number of pictures of the royal family and horses, which demonstrate his affinity for horses and horsemanship. Refaat’s largest painting is four metres high and pictures His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Refaat’s painting range from AED30,000 to AED1 million. He said: "I'm in love with Dubai and admire His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and I feel that he is the greatest man in the world.”
Equestrian diamond jewellery
Daria Borjarelau, an Italian artist and jewellery designer participating in the exhibition for the first time, is also a keen horsewoman who has mastered riding. Having spent much time riding and caring for horses, she has also become adept at equestrian paintings and jewellery design. Borjarelau designs horse head profiles in gold, diamond and silver and has a collection of 200 designs. What is unique about her work is that she designs horse jewellery based on famous and expensive horses around the world including those owned by royal family members. Her pieces range from AED1,700 to AED300,000. “At Dubai International Horse Fair I hope to meet several VIP clients and owners of horse stables so I can show them my innovative designs that are highly personalised and unique,” she said.
Unique horse sculptures
Renowned Portugal-based British artist Carloyn Morton, who is known for her equestrian sculptures with uncanny likenesses and attention to detail, returned to the Dubai International Horse Fair with her latest pieces. Her previous notable commissions include a life size bronze bust of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Morton has also designed the winning trophies for this year’s Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship. This year Morton has brought 15 sculptures to the show.
Fun for the whole family
In addition to showcasing the region’s lucrative equine industry, the Dubai International Horse Fair will provide several exciting activities for families and the general public including polo demonstrations organised by the Dubai Polo Club and Equestrian Club, an equestrian-themed Art Gallery and a celebration of local culture at the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) organised Heritage Village, which will show the UAE’s authentic cuisine, clothing, handicraft, calligraphy and more.
With more than 200 participating companies and brands from five continents represented at the Fair, new country participants include France, Iran, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Tanzania. Leading international and local companies and organisations will showcase a range of products and services to cater to the burgeoning regional equine industry. Participating companies include Ajman Stud, Al Hawajer Stud, Dubai Arabian Stud, Dubai Equine Hospital, Dubai Racing Channel Studio, Jebel Ali Racecourse and Shadwell Stud, based in the United Kingdom, among others.
The Dubai International Horse Fair 2014 is held in Halls 7 and 8 at Dubai World Trade Centre. Opening hours are 11am - 8pm on 20 and 22 March and from 2pm - 8pm on 21 March. Admission is free of charge and open to trade visitors and the general public. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.