In May 2006, another step in the history of the art market was achieved when Christie's held its first auction of International Modern & Contemporary Art in the Middle East, in Dubai. Since then, Christie's has gone on to sell over US$200 million worth of art in Dubai and firmly established itself as the leading auction house in the region. As a growing sign of maturity for Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art, Christie’s Dubai introduced a Part I and Part II sales spread over two consecutive days in October 2011, which is the sale format followed by Christie’s international salerooms. The Dubai auctions continue to act as a major catalyst in the development of the art market in the Middle East.
In April 2008, Christie's sold a highly important sculpture by Parviz Tanavoli for $2.8 million, the highest price ever achieved for a work of art at auction in Dubai and a world auction record for any Middle Eastern artist. In April and October 2010, Christie’s sold Dr. Mohammed Said Farsi’s prestigious collection of modern Egyptian art, amongst which The Whirling Dervishes by Mahmoud Said, which sold for $2,546,500, the world record price for the artist at auction and the world record price for any Arab work sold at auction. Christie’s Dubai continues to hold the world record prices for most of the forerunners of this category, such as Paul Guiragossian, Fateh Moudarres, Mohammed Ehsai, Abdulnasser Gharem, Hamed Nada, Abdul Hadi El-Gazzar, Ayman Baalbaki, Shirin Neshat and many others.
Since 2006 Christie’s has raised over $20 million for good causes in the region with these funds going to support educational and social initiatives as well as local artists across the Middle East diaspora.