The Middle East’s biggest celebration of design returns for a second year
24–29 October, city-wide
Dubai is set to further establish its status as a cutting-edge, vibrant global design hub
with the return of Dubai Design Week this October.

Last year’s inaugural citywide event attracted design aficionados, designers, architects
and thought leaders from over 150 of the world’s leading studios, agencies,
brands and educational institutions to present work, exchange ideas and showcase
innovation in design.
This year’s Design Week will cement Dubai’s status as the design capital of the MENASA
region with more than 100 events taking place in Dubai Design District (d3) over six days;
with significantly more visitors and internationally renowned exhibitors expected to attend.
‘Yaroof’ installation by Aljoud Lootah
The event is held in under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed
bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in strategic partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), and
sponsored by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Dubai Design & Fashion Council and
Audi. Dubai Design Week aims to support UAE-based multidisciplinary design talent
and celebrate the city’s forward-thinking approach to urban enterprise, as well as
offering a global stage to ideas and innovations with the potential to improve the lives
of people and society around the world.
Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, Chief Operating Officer of d3, says: “As strategic sponsors
and hosts of Dubai Design Week, d3 is committed to supporting the ongoing sustainable
growth and development of Dubai’s design industry by providing a diverse and exciting
creative destination that inspires, engages and enables both established and emerging
talent. Dubai Design Week represents an important platform for showcasing both
regional and international design talent to a global audience and helps place Dubai as
an innovative centre for creativity.”
Cyril Zammit, Director of Design at Art Dubai Group says: “It was clear that Dubai
Design Week 2015 tapped into something that both Dubai and the design industry
had been waiting for – a global platform for design in the UAE and the Middle East,
and an opportunity to share and explore perspectives and ideas with people from a
multitude of countries and cultures. This year, we want to build on that – Dubai Design
Week 2016 looks set to be an unmissable addition to the world’s design calendar.”
Downtown Design (25-28 October), the region’s only quality-driven design trade
fair, returns for its fourth edition as the commercial centrepiece of Dubai Design
Week. Bringing together over 100 brands from 25 countries, the event has become
an important fixture in the design calendar for both international brands and buyers
from the MENASA region and will once again be held at d3. Visitors will discover
products across furniture, lighting, bathrooms, kitchens, textiles and accessories
not ordinarily seen at the big shows. Re-affirming Downtown Design’s position as a
fair of discovery, the popular ‘Destination at Downtown Design’, a unique alliance of
international design weeks, returns featuring emerging design brands from Addis
Ababa, Barcelona, Beirut, Reykjavík and Taipei.
Global Grad Show is a globally unique exhibition
of innovation, inventions and technology
that will transform our future, all
showcased by the world’s next generation
of design talent. With 135 projects from 51
of the leading universities in 30 countries
on six continents, it is the largest and most
diverse gathering of designers ever to take
place and will offer unparalleled insight into
the visions of the designers of the future,
and a glimpse into our world as it might be
Global Grad Show 2015 tomorrow.
Named after the Arabic word for ‘doors’, the Abwab initiative is dedicated to exploring
the design narrative of countries within the MENASA region. This year, emerging and
established graphic designers, product designers, photographers and architects
from Algeria, Bahrain, India, Iraq, Palestine and the UAE respond to the theme of ‘The
Human Senses’. Abwab’s temporary pavilion this year has been designed by UAEbased
practice Hypothetical Office that will be built into the walkways of d3.
The exhibition, ‘Iconic City: Cairo Now! City Incomplete’ follows last year’s focus on
Beirut and takes inspiration from the Egyptian capital’s host of red brick buildings in
varying stages of completion, aiming to gauge the current mood of the city’s creative
scene. Mohamed Elshahed, editor-in-chief of the Cairobserver, curates what will be
a multidisciplinary presentation conducted by young entrepreneurs, aspiring artists
and graphic designers, alongside veteran design practitioners.
In landmark locations across Dubai, a series of 15 public, site-specific installations
by renowned international, regional and local designers will unite and transform the
city throughout Dubai Design Week’s six days.
Central to Dubai Design Week is a daily programme of talks and workshops held at d3
with something for everyone, from local start-ups and entrepreneurs to international
visitors, the media and families. The free-to-attend programme will serve as a rich
introduction to the design scene in the UAE, and build on the many events and
exhibitions happening throughout the week and beyond.
Abwab Pavilions 2015
Details on the talks and workshops programme will be released in late summer, along
with a full list of the diverse satellite events from studios, ateliers, universities and
galleries that will take place ‘Around the City’.

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