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Whilst design fairs around the world have been cancelled or pushed back, Dubai’s Downtown Design’s exciting plans for 2020 will offer the region’s design industry a focal point to engage and reconnect in these challenging times.

In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and having consulted with the region’s design community, this year, Downtown Design will bring design professionals, brands and enthusiasts together across digital and physical formats.

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Mindful of social distancing measures, the programme will be presented within the Design Quarter at Dubai Design District (d3) and will run November 9-14 — the entire duration of Dubai Design Week.

Featuring a conceptual design exhibition, a digital fair, an online talks programme and tailor-made on-site brand experiences, Downtown Design’s hybrid format is curated to help the design industry and enthusiasts gain inspiration and insight, network and navigate the new design landscape.

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A design exhibition for regional architects and interior designers

At the heart of this year’s programme is Downtown Design’s exhibition of progressive design thinking from the Middle East, ‘The Shape of Things to Come’. Inviting architects, interior designers and industry thought leaders to conceptualise how we will live, work and play in a post-pandemic world, the exhibition aims to spotlighting the new value system that has evolved as positive response to the crisis. Open to design practices based in the Middle East, the exhibition will accept proposals across the residential, commercial, hospitality and urban design sectors.

There is no charge to participate; proposals can be made in any format and those selected will be presented in an exhibition in Dubai Design District (d3) that will expose the region’s creativity to a wide audience.

Designers can find out more and submit their proposals here.

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An online talks programme

Complementing the intellectual content of the exhibition, Downtown Design will present its acclaimed talks programme, ‘The Forum’, digitally. The online panel discussions will feature regional and international experts who will together offer strategic insight into the emerging industry directions.

“The recent global events have impacted us all and design fairs are no exception. Which is why I am extremely excited for Downtown Design’s innovative response,” says David G. Daniels, Director of Architecture, SSH. “With this new format, the event leverages its platform to explore positive solutions which I hope will help to resolve the numerous scenarios that we are all faced with.”

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A digital fair

Maintaining its position as a conduit for brands and buyers, Downtown Design will present a digital fair allowing design professionals and enthusiasts to discover the latest collections and product launches. The virtual event will offer participating brands, country pavilions and designers a range of benefits to help them raise their profile in the Middle East and beyond.

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On-site brand activations

As part of this year’s agile format, Downtown Design will also curate opportunities for brands looking to reconnect on the ground. From pop-up installations and capsule showcases, to creative collaborations, these presentations will be located within the Design Quarter in d3, allowing both design professionals and design-savvy public audience to interact with the region’s creative talent.

“Staying connected is fundamental to our industry,” says Miriam Llano, Middle East Marketing Manager, Cosentino. “At a time when design fairs the world over have pushed back to 2021, Downtown Design is taking a bold step forward by proposing a creative mix of digital and physical programming in a safe, inspiring environment for brands and designers to reconnect. We are very proud to support this year’s programme and look forward to being part of it.”

To find out more about Downtown Design’s hybrid format go here.

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Don’t miss it!

Downtown Design’s 2020 event will take place November 9-14 in d3. To find out more about Downtown Design’s hybrid format visit