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Dubai: Dubai Design District (d3) on Saturday announced an inaugural ‘d3 Architecture Festival’ in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects Gulf Chapter (RIBA Gulf Chapter).

The debut edition is set to run from November 11 to 13 on the sidelines of Dubai Design Week, held under the patronage of Shaikha Latifa Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.

Curated by Juan Roldan, associate professor in the College of Architecture, Art and Design at the American University of Sharjah, the festival will “celebrate the achievements” of architecture companies in d3, Dubai and the wider GCC region. It will be held under the theme ‘Identity, Context and Placemaking in the Gulf’.

Showcasing landmark regional architectural projects, the event will host a series of talks to “steer the Middle East towards a more sustainable future”, and invite designers, architects and the general public to participate in daily charrettes.

Architectural playground

Speaking about the new festival, Khadija Al Bastaki, executive director of d3, said, “Dubai has long been known as an architectural playground and the emirate’s limitless ambition has found expression in its ever-evolving skyline. As we carry on the process of rebuilding in the post-COVID-19 world, our relationship with the built and natural world has never been more important.”

Andy Shaw, RIBA Gulf Chapter chair and managing partner of AMA, said, “The past six months have shown us all how important the cities and buildings we build for ourselves are, and how we must come together and move forward. Architects have the skills to craft beautiful spaces that can be sustainable and innovative as Gulf countries look forward to how the future could be. The RIBA Gulf Chapter’s goals are well aligned with d3 and make for a great partnership for this new festival.”

Iconic UAE projects

Home to over 50 leading local and international architecture practices, d3’s business partners have designed some iconic UAE projects, such as The Opus, Zayed National Museum and the falcon-shaped UAE National Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

At d3, architecture and interior design studios make up a significant component of the community’s 385 business partners and 9,000 people.