Dubai Design District (d3), part of TECOM Group PJSC, hails the success of Dubai Design Week 2022, which concluded yesterday after six days of creative and design inspiration and discussion. The 8th edition of the region’s leading creative festival, Dubai Design Week, attracted tens of thousands of design lovers to the emirate and saw attendance up 56% on the event last year. Similarly, the 9th edition of the Middle East’s leading design fair, Downtown Design, attracted leading design professionals, industry decision-makers and buyers and saw attendance up 50% on last year, highlighting the growth and prosperity of the design and creative industries in Dubai, and reinforcing Dubai’s status as a UNESCO Creative City of Design.
As the strategic partner of Dubai Design Week, d3 kicked off the 8th edition on Tuesday (8 November) bringing together 360 entities in the design sector, including more than 200 international and regional brands. The participation of over 120 UAE-based designers has also demonstrated the flourishing growth of the country’s homegrown creative scene. This year’s event focused on design for a more sustainable future under the theme “Design With Impact” and this was evident across all the exhibitions, installations, pop-ups, talks and workshops. The third d3 Architecture Exhibition also ran alongside all the Dubai Design Week offerings, showcasing local, regional and international architectural talents, again with the theme of designing for a sustainable future.
The creative sector can play a significant role in economies. A recent study by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) highlighted how the creative sector offers an opportunity for countries to boost their economies and how international trade in creative goods and services generates increasing revenues for countries. In addition, according to the Dubai FDI Monitor report, published by the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of economy and Tourism (DET), Dubai attracted 233 new projects in the creative economy in 2021, surpassing other major cities such as New York, Singapore and Berlin, and continues to emerge as a magnet for foreign investment and creative talent. It ranks first in the MENA region for FDI in the cultural and creative industries and second in the world. In April 2021, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy, which aims to double the creative industries’ GDP contribution to 5% of Dubai’s economy by 2025, from 2.6% at the end of 2020.
Commenting on the event, Khadija Al Bastaki, Vice President of Dubai Design District (d3), which is part of TECOM Group PJSC, said: “Our leadership’s vision to cement an enabling and competitive business environment has attracted some of the world’s leading players to Dubai, including in the design and creative industries. TECOM Group’s business districts, which include Dubai Design District, have been at the forefront of efforts to deliver on this vision for the past two decades by providing a world-class ecosystem that has attracted more than 100,000 best-in-class talent over the years.”
Al Bastaki added: “At Dubai Design District we have been proud and honoured to play our part in strengthening the creative economy in Dubai, which was identified early on as key in promoting GDP growth for the future of our country. Through empowering hundreds of creative professionals by providing a creative ecosystem like no other housing global corporations, growing SMEs, disruptive start-ups and visionary entrepreneurs in a shared address, and presenting platforms like Dubai Design Week and Arab Fashion Week, we have been a catalyst for the growth of the creative community, cementing Dubai’s position as a major regional and global player in the creative sector.”
The headline event of Dubai Design Week was Downtown Design, the region’s leading design fair, which returned to the d3 waterfront. The fair featured a diverse mix of over 200 international and regional brands as well as designers, immersive installations and unmissable collection premieres and saw strong demand for luxury interior design pieces and creations. The event also presented a rich and compelling series of talks and panel discussions at The Forum at Downtown Design with multi-award-winning interior designer Kelly Hoppen CBE, Florence-based designer Duccio Maria Gambi and renowned regional experts such as Kuwaiti architect Jassim Al Saddah among leading talents who participated.
Further highlights included debuts by Stella McCartney, OBMI and Grounded Design. There was also: an installation in the form of a boxing ring that hosted talks on issues such as climate change and upcycling by Bokja and Deepak Jangra’s GRIDS; a pavilion made of shell waste by Fadaa Space and the Design Market by FLTRD, which for the first time took place across the entire week offering a retail experience full of homegrown offerings.
The region’s first university exclusively dedicated to design and innovation, the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), and in5 Design, the community’s knowledge creator and start-up incubator respectively, also provided visitors with a range of meaningful experiences during the week. DIDI presented its most extensive Dubai Design Week programme to date with an exhibition, talks and panels while in5 launched , a permanent pop-up store to showcase a variety of products developed by start-ups based in its design-focused innovation centre.
Dubai Design District (d3) is a global hub for creativity. Launched by TECOM Group PJSC in 2013, it is part of the Group’s vision to provide creative businesses and individuals a home to explore, experiment and rethink the regular. It is home to a complete community of global, regional and homegrown brands, designers, start-ups and emerging creatives redefining the future of design. Dubai Design Week was created to elevate the inspiring creations of designs in our region to a wider audience and bring an opportunity for regional and international brands to connect with local audiences. As the strategic driver behind the event for many years, d3 has had the pleasure of witnessing and contributing to this event grow in size, talent showcase and global reach.