How to buy art in the UAE

Buy art UAE

Whether you’re an admirer of fine art, or simply view it as a business, there’s no doubting that there’s a lot of money in the world of art. But how do you ensure that you don’t lose money when buying pieces you admire?

Well, of course, if you’re not worried about losing money on the art you buy, you have the freedom to choose whatever you want. However, most people view art as an investment, meaning there are good and bad decisions that can be made when purchasing works. Happily, Salma Shaheem, joined venture partner and head of Middle Eastern markets at the Fine Art Group, is here to provide us with some top tips on buying art.

Her first piece of advice is that a strong portfolio isn’t always a sizeable one.

“Art is a real asset that enjoys a negative correlation with traditional assets, and therefore acts as a hedge against inflation. A valuable collection can start with as little as 5 or 6 very rare, museum quality pieces,” she says.

Secondly, she explains, time really is money when it comes to art.

“The art market is very opaque, and this is one of the primary reasons collectors work with art advisors. Seeking advice from people that are reputable and well versed in their area of the market, can be extremely beneficial. Working with professionals helps collectors save time and effort otherwise spent on research and due diligence, although this can be a very fruitful experience for the collector they may not have the luxury of time,” Shaheem says.

Thirdly, there’s certainly an art to researching fine art – particularly when you view it as an investment.

From a consumer and academic perspective, research is probably the most important aspect of the art industry. Alongside reading, this entails visiting galleries/fairs/museums, viewing the art in the flesh (it’s a very different experience than looking at a high-resolution image). Art advisors spend hours researching artworks, artists, art fairs and conducting primary research through their network of industry professionals,” Shaheem explains.

And finally, note that all the rules apply.

“Acknowledge that there are many different sectors of the art market and that they all behave differently,” she says.

Of course, there is an element of risk in every investment transaction, in every industry. Knowledge is key, so if you can, appoint an advisor to help you.

Not sure about putting your money into an alternative investment like art? Try it the old-fashioned way by opening a savings account. Click the button below to compare options from the UAE’s leading banks.

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