Dubai fast becoming the global hub for creativity

The Times Kuwait Report

Dubai Design Week 2023 gathered almost 500 designers, architects and creatives, offering a confluence of Middle Eastern and international design. The week-long event witnessed a diverse program of events and activities, including large-scale installations, new commissions, exhibitions, pop-ups, talks, workshops, a weekend market and the leading design fair in the region, Downtown Design.

Design Week featured a range of design disciplines, including architecture, product design, interiors and multimedia, with the festival seeing designers from across the globe coming together to exchange ideas and demonstrate the positive impact that could be fostered through design. Having firmly established itself as the region’s largest creative festival, the event has positioned Dubai as the design capital of the Middle East.

Speaking to The Times Kuwait, Downtown Dubai Director, Mette Degn-Christensen, said that they were celebrating the 10th edition of the fair this year, marking the anniversary with a unique experience that paid tribute to the beauty and necessity of their natural surroundings.

Designest by Ahmad Kattan

She pointed out that since its inception, Downtown Design has grown not only in size and variety of brands, countries and program represented in the fair, but has been an agent for positive change and a catalyst for growth of the burgeoning creative scene in the Middle East, and the creative community both regionally and internationally — enabling fruitful and strategic leads from one touchpoint to another.

Christensen explained that keeping in view the UAE’s year of sustainability and COP28, a star-studded line up of international and regional speakers were present this year, starting with the opening keynote by world-renowned trend-forecaster Lidewijk Edelkoort, who shed light on her work promoting sustainable practices.

Christensen noted that spotlighting and providing a platform for regional talent, was very much key to the mandate of Downtown Design, as well as to Dubai Design Week that nurtures talent as well as important topics.

She added “I’m personally very excited to see the array of some of the most sought-after brands worldwide come together for the 10th edition of Downtown Design this year, alongside such a diverse line-up of independent designers and studios from around the world, with a spotlight on regional talent,”

Downtown Dubai Director, Mette Degn-Christensen

As Christensen passionately pointed out, the tenth edition has been the fair’s most elevated experience to date, reflecting not only Dubai’s ever-growing economy and its incredibly strong influence on the success of the region’s burgeoning design industry, but also in attracting a wide segment of B2B and B2C audiences across the region’s design communities and industries, including architects and interior designers, developers and hospitality operators, HNWIs and collectors, and design enthusiasts.

Through the lens of Downtown Design, change can be seen across the market sectors and the shift in demand for high-quality, original design and contemporary design aesthetics.

Downtown Design Dubai (D3) works closely with all participants, big and small, to
cater to their objectives and to consider their current set up or desire for a new set up in the UAE and the wider Middle East. From flagging their brand to the relevant audiences to distribution plans, accompanying participants on this journey, whether they participate every year or have long term goals, D3 can assist achieve through the platform of Downtown Design and Dubai Design Week, the umbrella festival.

As the anchor event of Dubai Design Week, Downtown Design consistently produces a dynamic environment where design meets opportunity. Now celebrating a decade, the fair is at the center of design in the Middle East — forging foundational relationships between B2B and B2C audiences and brands, independent designers and studios. Downtown Design is cemented as the annual point of connection, fostering meaningful opportunities for exhibitors and visitors alike.

Of Palm by Abdalla Almulla.

Image Courtesy: Dubai Design Week

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