Canadian Economist Don Thompson gave a two night lecture in Dubai last month.
Thompson discussed the state of the art market today, revealing fascinating facts related to the Gulf region. Thompson reported that the top 10 percent of the market is comprised of a handful of active buyers, most of whom are in the UAE and Qatar. This includes individuals as well as museums. Currently there are only about 10 museums in the world with Acquisition Budgets, most of them located in the Gulf region. In fact, some of the all-time highest selling contemporary artworks have gone to collectors and museums in Abu Dhabi and Qatar.
Without real numbers to back those claims up, it is hard to judge their validity. Of course, the region seems to breed a number of confusing statements like the recent claim that Norway and Austria purchase more art than the Gulf States.