Faraz Ali has been attending Art Dubai as a spectator for a decade. But this year, he is finally getting the chance to exhibit his work at the art fair for the first time. A Dubai-based Pakistani artist, Ali believes that while art may not be a priority for countries experiencing political instability and conflict, the scene in Dubai is becoming a vibrant international hub for artists from those nations. South Asian representation at the art fair has become stronger over the years, he told CNN. The art community in various parts of the Global South, such as the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Latin America, often faces challenges that can result in a lack of infrastructure to support artistic development. Art Dubai has in recent years tapped into these regions, exposing such artists to galleries and collectors from the world over. Benedetta Ghione, executive director of the fair, hopes to carve out a niche for those excluded from the art scene. “In mainstream Western art fairs, Global South artists are underrepresented, and their material is a 5% proportion of their overall display of artwork, but for us it’s over 60%,” she added. Radhika Khimji, an Indian artist based between London and Oman, credits the festival for being pivotal in kick-starting her international career. “I’m showing with one gallery from Vienna and with one from India. That happened because of Art Dubai,” Khimji told CNN, adding that a 2012 show ended with a gallery in Austria seeing her work and offering her a residency. For Ali and Khimji, both of whom incorporate post-colonial theory in their work, exhibiting at the event is a statement of reclaiming a space in a Eurocentric and often elitist art world. “We found a lot of people here from the working class and tried to include them in my work on a global scale,” Ali said, adding that “someone like me can actually play a role to bridge that.” “It’ll definitely affect my local and international exposure,” Ali said of the fair, hoping for the same exposure it gave Khimji. “I’m sure it will open more doors for me.” Ghione said the art fair has over the years “naturally extended” to the broader region of the Global South. “It feels natural that we would be the place where one would come and see artwork from Lagos, next to artwork from Manila and Tehran, all under one roof.” The fair, which ends Sunday, reflects the makeup of the modern world, said Ghione.