Iranian Painter Farah Ossouli is painting in her studio in Tehran.02/12/2008 Photo Credit Tara for The National  *** Local Caption ***  KOW_0254.jpg
Farah Ossouli, the renowned contemporary artist, works in her studio in Tehran.

Global crisis takes toll on Iranian art



TEHRAN // The record-making sales of Iranian art at auctions around the world has slowed as the global financial crisis squeezes spending on luxury items, with the frantic increases seen in the domestic market also expected to ease.

At a recent auction by Bonhams in Dubai, several works by Iranian artists remained unsold, though some pieces, including works by Faramarz Pilaram, were still selling well. Record-breaking sales of modern and contemporary Iranian artwork peaked in May this year when The Wall by the sculptor Parviz Tanavoli fetched US$2.8m (Dh10.3m) at a Christie's auction in Dubai. However, some art collectors and dealers believe despite this earlier success, the global financial crisis will affect the international sales of artwork, including those of Iran.

The crisis has made people more cautious in the way they spend their money, said Ferial Salahshour, an art collector who also owns and runs a gallery in Tehran. "People are worried the world over now and it is only natural that they show less interest in buying artwork in the present circumstances." Ms Salahshour said despite the falling prices, modern and contemporary Iranian artwork deserved the belated attention from the international auction houses.

Syma Sayyah, a collector who also reports on art for Payvand, an Iranian news portal, said: "Prices are bound to go down, not only as a result of economic troubles but also because of the realities of the market. "The great hike in prices has affected my own buying power and I am not buying anything right now." The auctions' previous success, however, has had a downside. It has led to artists raising the prices so much that some domestic buyers are no longer able to afford the works.

Artists also agree that the price hike, caused by the success of the auctions, has to stop at some point. Farah Ossouli, a renowned contemporary painter, said: "Preliminary auction estimates for Iranian artwork increased seven-fold in only one year. "A work estimated to sell for $70,000 last year was valued at $700,000 this year. An annual percentage of increase is acceptable but such a huge difference seems illogical to me."

One of her works that went to auction last month had an estimate of $20,000 but sold for $46,000. Ms Ossouli predicted prices would soon stabilise. "International auction houses like Christie's, Sotheby's and Bonhams will need to make their estimates more rational considering the problems the global economy is facing at the moment," she said. Art critics said most of the high-priced Iranian works sold at international auctions had been purchased, often as an investment, by Iranian collectors living in other countries.

Collectors from other Middle Eastern countries also seem to be very interested in Iranian artwork. "It could be that a great deal of Iranian modern and contemporary artwork, like the works of Mohammad Ehsai and Farhad Moshiri, which sold very well in auctions, consist of painting-calligraphy," Ms Ossouli said. "Moreover, non-Iranian Middle Eastern buyers are sometimes reluctant to buy artwork that depicts figures due to some religious considerations that they have.

"These works are not considered appropriate to use in their private spaces. "This reluctance makes our painting-calligraphy and abstract works to some extent, very appealing to them." msinaiee@thenational.ae

About Okadoc

Date started: Okadoc, 2018

Founder/CEO: Fodhil Benturquia

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: Healthcare

Size: (employees/revenue) 40 staff; undisclosed revenues recording “double-digit” monthly growth

Funding stage: Series B fundraising round to conclude in February

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Pathaan

Director: Siddharth Anand 

Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham 

Rating: 3/5

FIGHT CARD

Anthony Joshua v Otto Wallin, 12 rounds, heavyweight

Deontay Wilder v Joseph Parker, 12 rounds, heavyweight

Dmitry Bivol v Lyndon Arthur, 12 rounds, light heavyweight

Daniel Dubois v Jarrell Miller, 12 rounds, heavyweight

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UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
AGL AWARDS

Golden Ball - best Emirati player: Khalfan Mubarak (Al Jazira)
Golden Ball - best foreign player: Igor Coronado (Sharjah)
Golden Glove - best goalkeeper: Adel Al Hosani (Sharjah)
Best Coach - the leader: Abdulaziz Al Anbari (Sharjah)
Fans' Player of the Year: Driss Fetouhi (Dibba)
Golden Boy - best young player: Ali Saleh (Al Wasl)
Best Fans of the Year: Sharjah
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Bantamweight Hamza Bougamza (MAR) v Jalal Al Daaja (JOR)

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Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
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Amith's selections:
5pm: AF Sail
5.30pm: Dahawi
6pm: Taajer
6.30pm: Pharitz Oubai
7pm: Winked
7.30pm: Shahm
8pm: Raniah

ASSASSIN'S CREED MIRAGE

Developer: Ubisoft Bordeaux
Publisher: Ubisoft
Consoles: PlayStation 4&5, PC and Xbox Series S&X
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The major Hashd factions linked to Iran:

Badr Organisation: Seen as the most militarily capable faction in the Hashd. Iraqi Shiite exiles opposed to Saddam Hussein set up the group in Tehran in the early 1980s as the Badr Corps under the supervision of the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The militia exalts Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei but intermittently cooperated with the US military.

Saraya Al Salam (Peace Brigade): Comprised of former members of the officially defunct Mahdi Army, a militia that was commanded by Iraqi cleric Moqtada Al Sadr and fought US and Iraqi government and other forces between 2004 and 2008. As part of a political overhaul aimed as casting Mr Al Sadr as a more nationalist and less sectarian figure, the cleric formed Saraya Al Salam in 2014. The group’s relations with Iran has been volatile.

Kataeb Hezbollah: The group, which is fighting on behalf of the Bashar Al Assad government in Syria, traces its origins to attacks on US forces in Iraq in 2004 and adopts a tough stance against Washington, calling the United States “the enemy of humanity”.

Asaeb Ahl Al Haq: An offshoot of the Mahdi Army active in Syria. Asaeb Ahl Al Haq’s leader Qais al Khazali was a student of Mr Al Moqtada’s late father Mohammed Sadeq Al Sadr, a prominent Shiite cleric who was killed during Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Harakat Hezbollah Al Nujaba: Formed in 2013 to fight alongside Mr Al Assad’s loyalists in Syria before joining the Hashd. The group is seen as among the most ideological and sectarian-driven Hashd militias in Syria and is the major recruiter of foreign fighters to Syria.

Saraya Al Khorasani:  The ICRG formed Saraya Al Khorasani in the mid-1990s and the group is seen as the most ideologically attached to Iran among Tehran’s satellites in Iraq.

(Source: The Wilson Centre, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation)

Milestones on the road to union

1970

October 26: Bahrain withdraws from a proposal to create a federation of nine with the seven Trucial States and Qatar. 

December: Ahmed Al Suwaidi visits New York to discuss potential UN membership.

1971

March 1:  Alex Douglas Hume, Conservative foreign secretary confirms that Britain will leave the Gulf and “strongly supports” the creation of a Union of Arab Emirates.

July 12: Historic meeting at which Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid make a binding agreement to create what will become the UAE.

July 18: It is announced that the UAE will be formed from six emirates, with a proposed constitution signed. RAK is not yet part of the agreement.

August 6:  The fifth anniversary of Sheikh Zayed becoming Ruler of Abu Dhabi, with official celebrations deferred until later in the year.

August 15: Bahrain becomes independent.

September 3: Qatar becomes independent.

November 23-25: Meeting with Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid and senior British officials to fix December 2 as date of creation of the UAE.

November 29:  At 5.30pm Iranian forces seize the Greater and Lesser Tunbs by force.

November 30: Despite  a power sharing agreement, Tehran takes full control of Abu Musa. 

November 31: UK officials visit all six participating Emirates to formally end the Trucial States treaties

December 2: 11am, Dubai. New Supreme Council formally elects Sheikh Zayed as President. Treaty of Friendship signed with the UK. 11.30am. Flag raising ceremony at Union House and Al Manhal Palace in Abu Dhabi witnessed by Sheikh Khalifa, then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

December 6: Arab League formally admits the UAE. The first British Ambassador presents his credentials to Sheikh Zayed.

December 9: UAE joins the United Nations.

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Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

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KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

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Results

Stage 7:
1. Adam Yates (GBR) UAE Team Emirates – 3hrs 29min 42ses
2. Remco Evenepoel (BEL) Soudal Quick-Step – 10sec
3. Geoffrey Bouchard (FRA) AG2R Citroen Team – 42sec
General Classification:
1. Remco Evenepoel (BEL) Soudal Quick-Step
2. Lucas Plapp (AUS) Ineos Grenaders – 59se
3. Adam Yates (GBR) UAE Team Emirates –60sec
Red Jersey (General Classification): Remco Evenepoel (BEL) Soudal Quick-Step
Green Jersey (Points Classification): Tim Merlier (BEL) Soudal Quick-Step
White Jersey (Young Rider Classification): Remco Evenepoel (BEL) Soudal Quick-Step
Black Jersey (Intermediate Sprint Classification): Edward Planckaert (FRA) Alpecin-Deceuninck