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Sun 4 Mar 2007 12:00 AM

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A cultural shift

Our 10-page special this week highlights an investment opportunity that we in the Middle East are apparently only just waking up to.

Our 10-page special this week highlights an investment opportunity that we in the Middle East are apparently only just waking up to. The ground rules are standard — as one expert tells us: “When it comes to looking at investment… It’s about doing your research and analysing the market and its prices.

“It’s also important to get an idea of that individual investment’s past track record - both financially and ethically. Ethics in investments have become even more important and are sometimes essential, especially considering Sharia investment.”

So where are we putting our money? Stocks? Real estate?

Commodities? “Globally, art has a proven track record of being the second highest yielding investment after real estate,” continues our expert, Charles Pocock, Managing Partner of Meem Gallery in Dubai.

As a nation that proclaims itself to be the financial and tourism hub of the modern Middle East, the UAE now has a fantastic opportunity to take the region’s cultural crown as well. Like any investment, it undoubtedly pays to know your market, and Dubai in particular is attracting a wealth of regional and international talent to its shores. Just this week, for example, the inaugural Gulf Art Fair will host works from 41 top international art galleries.

An English poet once remarked that culture is “to know the best that has been said and thought in the world”. In the UAE, surely, nothing but the best will do?

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