Dubai Design Week will host more than 100 events and activities this year. Image Credit:

Dubai: The annual Dubai Design Week is back from November 9 to 14.

Held under the patronage of Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and member of Dubai Council, this year the Dubai Design Week will host more than 100 events and activities.

The diverse programmes include exhibitions, pop-ups, outdoor installations and a new retail initiative supporting Dubai’s artisans, creatives and entrepreneurs who will be staged at Dubai Design District (d3). Alongside the physical programme in d3, the festival will offer new online elements accessible globally, including an online exhibition featuring the best social impact innovation projects by students from across the world, a digital fair for design brands and a series of virtual talks programmes.

Reinforcing Dubai as the region’s central hub for design and creativity, the event is the first major cultural event to return in physical form since the beginning of the pandemic.

Programme at d3

Key highlights in d3 will include a new large scale outdoor retail initiative bringing together the best of Dubai’s artisans, creatives and entrepreneurs. The Dubai Design Week Marketplace, supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), will see 50 projects from the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on solutions to improve and transform lives.

A line-up of 25 outdoor installations will be staged throughout d3, some of them including the Abwab 2020 commission ‘Fata Morgana’ and more.

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The Makers’ Programme will offer a range of hands-on activities catering to all ages and levels of experience from leather crafting and embroidery to robotics and laser-cutting, giving participants a chance to explore innovative methods, techniques and an array of materials, from thread to wood.

At Re: Urban Studio, professionals and academics in the field of design will be able to participate in masterclasses aimed to elevate practical and vocational skills of SMEs, self-employed and aspiring creatives. The weekend programme will offer activities for family and children of all skill levels from ages 5+ who can get creative with clay and join the potter’s wheel experience and more.

Virtual Programmes

Global Grad Show, the world’s most diverse programme for graduates working on social impact innovation is now in its sixth year. It focuses on the most commonly shared concerns among graduates from around the world. Entries are up 30 per cent compared to previous year. They range from institutions such as Imperial College, Harvard. For the first time there is a representation from Indonesia, El Salvador and Oman.

Mindful of the challenges faced by the design industry, Downtown Design will offer architects, interior designers and enthusiasts the opportunity to reconnect with the thriving contemporary design scene digitally. Featuring the latest collections and products from leading international and regional brands, the new Downtown Design Digital Fair will offer inspiration and insight to navigate the new design landscape.

Go digital

The Dubai Design Week’s talks programme also goes digital this year, hosting experts demonstrating leadership in their field. The d3 Architecture Festival Talks will run across the full week focusing on topics that play a key role in the industry today.

Downtown Design’s virtual talks programme ‘The Forum’ will feature leading international and regional architects and designers including acclaimed designer Aline Asmar d’Amman, design journalist and opinion-maker Max Fraser, French product designer Sacha Walckhoff and leading Indian architect Nuru Karim among others, as they spotlight the new value system that has evolved as a response to the pandemic.