Abu Dhabi / Dubai Roundup
              Melissa Gronlund
              On November 17, Abu Dhabi Art opened to its VIPs: an event so popular authorities had to redirect traffic off the highway to a new exit. Now in its seventh year under this name, the art fair of the United Arab Emirates’ capital city hosts a smattering of blue-chip galleries—Lisson, Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner—as well as good lesser-known galleries from beyond art’s Western power centers, like Le Violon Bleu from Tunis or the Third Line from Dubai. It is held every November, and rather pales in comparison to the larger and better attended Art Dubai, in March. The local collecting scene is still forming, and one of the major buyers at the fair is the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, part of the trio of future museums—the others being the Louvre Abu Dhabi and a national museum designed by Norman Foster—whose promise dominates thinking about art in the city. A number of the panel discussions at the fair revolved around the new museums, including the starry talk by Guggenheim director Richard Armstrong, outgoing British Museum director Neil MacGregor, and Agence France-Muséums chair Manuel Rabaté (standing in for Louvre president Jean-Luc Martinez, who stayed in Paris because of the events there). The museums—the ...
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