Hala Elkoussy, The Myths & Legends Room: the Mural, 2010, 48 framed photographs printed on colour photographic paper, in black frames, each frame 75 x 75 cm.

The Abraaj Group is a leading private equity investor, purpose-built for operating in the growth markets of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Turkey. Through its Stakeholder and Strategic Partnerships programs, the Group supports art and innovation, entrepreneurship and the next generation, aiming to have a deep rooted and sustainable impact across growth markets.

The Abraaj Group Art Prize was established in 2008, to provide notable contemporary artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, with the opportunity to actualise their dream project, and offers curators from across the globe, the recognition of designing an exhibition at Art Dubai, the world’s most globalised art fair. Unique in its format, the Prize awards both an artist and curator through their proposal only, rather than a completed work. The Prize reflects Abraaj’s own investment philosophy, which is to take viable businesses with great potential, and create regional and global champions.

The jury of the Prize firstly reviews and selects the chosen Guest Curator, who then joins the jury panel for that year in selecting a winning artist, plus three shortlisted artists. The three shortlisted artists receive a cash prize and are granted the opportunity to gain acknowledgment at an international level through exhibiting in a group show at Art Dubai, conceived by the Guest Curator. The winning artist receives a $100,000 commission to fabricate the winning proposed art piece, which is then revealed at an unveiling ceremony at Art Dubai in March 2018.

The Prize has elevated participating artists and curators to the next level in their career, and continues to add value to their practice through loaning and exhibiting the winning artwork from each year at museums, biennials and shows all over the world, as part of The Abraaj Group Art Prize Collection. This collection now includes 30 major works, has lent works to over 60 institutions worldwide during the past ten years, and Abraaj has commissioned 9 publications about the Prize.


Dana Farouki, Chair of the jury,
Curator & collector of
international contemporary art

Rashid Rana, Artist, Associate professor at the School of Visual Arts and Design at Beaconhouse National University, Lahore

Stuart Comer, Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art, MoMA

Omar Berrada, Director, Dar al-Ma’mûn; a library and artists residency in Marrakech, and guest member of the jury for 2017

Zeina Arida, Director, Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum

Myrna Ayad, Director, Art Dubai

Fayeeza Naqvi, Chairman of the
Aman Foundation

Frederic Sicre, Managing Director,
The Abraaj Group