Daman launches $14mn art fund

Connoisseurs invited to invest in collection as demand for contemporary Arab and Middle Eastern art rises.
Daman launches $14mn art fund
By Lynne Roberts
Wed 14 May 2008 12:37 AM

Daman Investments said Tuesday it had launched a 50 million-dirham ($13.6 million) fund for the development of a collection of Arab and Middle Eastern art.

The fund would capitalise on a burgeoning art market in the Middle East, the financial services company said in a statement, adding that the initiative was based on sound business sense given the rising profile of the UAE in a new Arab art Renaissance.

“The increased prominence of Dubai and the UAE as a centre for exciting and often new contemporary Arab and Middle Eastern art indicates that our belief in this kind of initiative is not purely emotional but based in sound business judgement,” said CEO Shehab Gargash.

Similar funds in other parts of the world had proven their value beyond expectations, he continued, saying that “in those markets, the long term asset value of fine art has entered all major portfolio planning, much in the same way that the region now recognises hedge funds as an essential part of a balanced portfolio”.

Funds were raised from "qualified, interested investors and art connoisseurs" on an invitation-only basis, Daman said. All funds raised will be invested into contemporary art with a specific focus on the Middle East.

The term of the fund will be five years from the initial closing date, but could be extended to a maximum of seven years at the discretion of the investment manager.

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