On October 19 2016, a large audience of art patrons, professionals, collectors and charity supporters gathered for the inaugural Sovereign Middle East & North Africa Art Prize gala and auction at the Armani Hotel Dubai. From 30 successful finalists, the Prize winners were announced, with 29 of the works being auctioned to raise money for both the artists and our charity partners, Start. Congratulations to Alfred Tarazi of Lebanon, named Grand Prize Winner of the very first MENA Prize for his "crazy, beautiful, impossible blueprint" - LEFT/RIGHT: scheme for a temporary memorial. Concerned with past conflicts, the work mixes digital printing, cyanotype and various inking methods, all contributing to create a blueprint for a memorial dedicated to the victims of the Lebanese Civil War. The piece dismantles the idea of a war memorial and dispossesses it from monumental qualities, in the search of a more relational mode of engagement with deep traumatic memory. Alfred received not only the highly respected title and trophy, but also US$30,000 in prize money. Similar praise is due to Public Vote Prize Winner Mayasa Al Sowaidi of Bahrain, who won the hearts, and importantly, the votes of the public with her uniquely gorgeous work, Tea Whisper. The piece involved the use of teabags in the process of creation, infusing the work with aromas that tell a story all their own. Over 300 guests attended the glamorous gala event, including prominent members of the art community. The 2016 theme of ‘Hope Takes Flight’ was carried through the elegant décor and a fabulous bespoke dinner menu. Providing breath-taking entertainment were finalists from this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, the incredible duo Another Kind of Blue. Many thanks to our judges; Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, Tim Marlow, Fatima Maleki, David Elliott and Simon Njami, as well as our wonderful sponsors Arton Capital and Nearchi Investment PLC. Have a look at some of the incredible pictures from the Gala Dinner and the preceding Finalists Exhibition, held at Warehouse 46, Alserkal Avenue, on our Facebook page here. Click here to read the winners press release.