11/12/2012 12:08 pm ET Updated Jan 12, 2013

The Art Market: Shiny, Happy Dealing People

Most art fairs are "front-loaded", meaning that the bulk of sales are made on the first day. Not so in Abu Dhabi, whose annual art fair opened on Tuesday with a ladies-only visit in the morning and a buzzy vernissage in the evening. But dealers were not discouraged, explaining that they didn't expect big sales until the end of the fair. This wasn't just wishful thinking. The reason? Abu Dhabi Art belongs to the emirate's government, which supports its art fair, believing it to be part of its "cultural ecosystem".