Art Gap, presented by Standard Chartered, to tackle pay parity issue through works by UAE-based female artists

The region’s largest affordable retail art fair will leverage scientific research to spur change

Dubai, UAE – April 2019 :A special exhibition of works by a collective of UAE-based female artists will take centre-stage at next month’s World Art Dubai – the Middle East’s largest affordable retail art fair – with the aim of rallying support to secure gender pay parity throughout the art world and beyond.

“Art Gap by Standard Chartered aims to inspire men and women from the UAE to add their collective voices to the global pay parity conversation – our goal is to support female artists around the world, as well as their peers in other industries who are paid unequally,” explained Batool Jafri, Curator of Art Gap and World Art Dubai.

Citing a recent University of Oxford Business Schoolstudy which revealed works by female artists sell at auction for 47.6% less than works by their male counterparts, Jafri added: “Since female artists are paid 47.6% less, our UAE-based collective will leave 47.6% of their work unfinished; we predict the incomplete canvases will make a powerful statement on the inequality of gender pay in the art world.”

Having signed a Fair Pay Charter last year that commits it to an equal pay policy for men and women employed in the same role, Standard Chartered’s presentation of the Art Gap exhibition at World Art Dubai demonstrates the bank’s commitment to gender equality, added Professor Renée B. Adams, a co-author of the University of Oxford study.

“Everyone is talking about diversity nowadays, but the result is mostly just that – talk. To bring about real change, we need to act. The Art Gap exhibition presented by Standard Chartered is a cutting-edge way of leveraging scientific research to bring about change. Nobody who participates or views the exhibit will forget the message. And the next time they buy an artwork, they will approach it differently,” said Adams.

Art Gap at World Art Dubai

Art Gap presented by Standard Chartered is one of a number of new features incorporated into the fifth annual edition of World Art Dubai, which runs at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from April 3-6.

“As the first exhibition of its kind, Art Gap makes a strong statement of truly global significance,” said Andrew Wingrove, Show Director of World Art Dubai. “We anticipate a robust response from visitors and buyers at this year’s fair as they join a worldwide movement determined to address the pressing gender parity issue.”

World Art Dubai boasts a collection of 150 galleries and artists from more than 30 countries displaying over 3,000 works including abstract paintings, fluid paintings, cubism pieces, mixed media and sculptures starting from $100 onwards.

Inaugural Emerging Artists Competition

The 2019 fair incorporates a number of World Art Dubai ‘firsts’ including the inaugural Emerging Artists Competition and Exhibition being staged in collaboration with Rove Hotels. Designed for up-and-coming artists aged 18 years or above, the competition was held under the theme ‘My Culture, My Neighbourhood, My Community’.

“These new features leverage art as a force for good, as well as its inherent ability to address social issues,” added Wingrove. “This year’s show will be engaging and inclusive, providing visitors with a rare opportunity to explore trends and secure a footing on the art-buying ladder by purchasing thought-provoking and stimulating work.”

Wealth of International Artists

World Art Dubai has also curated a roll call of leading international artists for the fair. These include Poland’s Marcin Rogal, known across the globe as ‘MrArtPride’; Russia’s Julia Smolenkova; Spain’s multi-award-winning contemporary artist August Vilella; Romania’s Gina Plunder, whose highly-acclaimed ‘Wishhouse’ collection features visual elements from iconic buildings around the world; and Pop Art artist Sanuj Birla, straight from the heart of New Delhi, India.

On the international gallery bill is Argentina’s Maria Elena Beneito Art Studio which plans to impress visitors with four leading South American artists. The quartet topped last year’s Argentina Art Biennial in painting, sculpture, installation and photography. They will be joined with the debut of Nusay Gallery from Turkmenistan, representing modern and contemporary Turkmen artists.

Headlining an expanded bill of UAE-based artists this year is inspirational speed painter Victor Sitali, award-winning modern artist Kristel Bechara, returning Zahra Goulamhoussen who is influenced by wildlife and Islamic architecture, and Lebanese Mireille Salti, an abstract expressionist artist whose work is an evolution of pouring art.

World Art Dubai 2019 is open from 2pm to 9pm, Wednesday 3rd April and Thursday 4thApril – Saturday 6th April, 1pm to 9pm. Day tickets are available online ahead of the show here for just 20 Dhs. Kids aged 10-18 are10 Dhs, and free for those under 10. Onsite tickets are priced at 25 Dhs. For more information, please visit

About World Art Dubai: A unique fusion of art, education and entertainment, World Art Dubai is an affordable and accessible art fair concept designed to unite global artists with Dubai’s international community. The four-day event is supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and is a key pillar in Dubai Art Season, a multi-event vehicle which aids the city’s objective to establish a position as a leading global culture and arts hub.


About Dubai World Trade Centre: World Art Dubai is professionally managed by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), which provides more than 35 years’ experience, unmatched expertise and in-depth market knowledge in delivering world-class events featuring local, regional and international exhibitors in the Middle

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