Collector Fady Jameel on the transformation of the art scenes in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

Fady Jameel, vice chairman of Community Jameel and founder of Art Jameel, discusses personal and philanthropic art collecting in an interview with The Art Newspaper.


As a collector, Fady Jameel wears two hats. The first one is as chair of the acquisitions committee for Art Jameel, a Dubai- and Jeddah-based cultural organisation, largely funded by Jameel Philanthropies, which is part of his family’s multi-billion-dollar conglomerate Abdul Latif Jameel. Through this role, he is able to push the boundaries of what it means to buy and own art. For example, Art Jameel purchases the artists’ gardens that are commissioned every two years by Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai. A video work by Mohammed Al Faraj comes with an agreement with the artist that he can re-edit the work every year or so, while a rubber floor work by Hemali Bhuta will gradually disintegrate over time.

Then there is his smaller, private collection, influenced by his interest in East Asian cultures: a Japanese-inspired koi fish pond spans the ground floor of his home in Dubai. Jameel says he is particularly interested in the Mono-ha art movement that emerged in 1960s Tokyo, with the Japanese sculptor and installation artist Kishio Suga being a “particular favourite”.

The Art Newspaper