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Jeff Koons’ Diamond (Red) (1994-2005), presented by Gagosian Gallery at Abu Dhabi Art
Photo by Kurosh Nasseri
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by Nazy Nazhand

The inaugural Abu Dhabi Art (ADA), Nov. 19-22, 2009, debuted at the super-luxurious, $3-billion Emirates Palace hotel amid much glitz, pomp and art-world curiosity. And while all art fairs may be created equal, it was obvious from the start that the ADA was going to be its own kind of beast, marrying highbrow contemporary art from the West with ancient Arab traditions, in a presentation overseen by the country’s royal family.