Design Days Dubai: the region’s most established launch pad for Middle Eastern designers

  • Venue: Dubai
  • Date: 09-03-2017

A record number of 20 exhibitors from the UAE, all debuting new furniture, lighting and decorative accessories
50 exhibitors, the largest number to date
New location at Dubai Design District (d3) with refreshed layout

The sixth edition of Design Days Dubai is set to be a landmark for the fair. Its new location at Dubai Design District (d3) puts it both physically and metaphorically at the forefront of the city’s creative industries, and a record number of local and regional exhibitors will cement its status as an essential platform for the Middle East’s rapidly evolving design culture.

Design Days Dubai welcomes its largest number of exhibitors ever in 2017, with the strongest representation of design in the region, including a record 20 designers from the UAE. All will debut never-before-seen unique and limited edition series furniture, lighting and decorative accessories.

The range and quality of the local designs on show - from exquisite, artisanal products to high-tech, contemporary objects – is testament to Design Days Dubai’s status as a benchmark for quality-led modern and contemporary design and the strength of the Emirate’s emerging design vocabulary. The proliferation of brushed metallic and high-shine finishes throughout the fair reflects global trends, but interprets them in a style that is becoming synonymous with Dubai.

Design Days Dubai remains a catalyst to the development of the design community in the wider region and is a well-known launch pad for nascent designers. This year’s first-time exhibitors from Dubai are: Ayah Al Bitar, AYKA Design, CarpetsCC by Cecilia Setterdahl, Jafar Dajani, MCML Studio, Michael Rice and Nader Gammas.

At the fair’s inaugural edition in 2012, Nakkash Gallery was the only locally-based exhibitor and has returned every year since with increasingly alluring collections from international designers. This year, the father-and-son founders Wajih and Omar Nakkash present their own-designed first collection. It includes a circular, iron-framed, Luna Bookcase which balances space for books and decorative items with natural textures; The Orbit Table Series with delicate, brushed-iron tops supported by dark marble pedestals with built-in plant pots; and the limited-edition, bronze and Murano glass 7 Salutes sculptural installation, a tribute to the national symbol of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s three-finger salute – win, victory, love.

Multi-disciplinary Emirati designer Aljoud Lootah presents her new Tebr collection of porcelain vases, tableware and table lamps adorned with decorative motifs in 14-karat gold which are inspired by patterns carved on an old wooden door from the Palace of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the former UAE President and Founder of the Nation. 1971 Design Space will showcase new work, the Loop chair series, from UAE-based designer Rand Abdul Jabbar, and innovative social enterprise Fatima bint Mohamed bin Zayed Initiative (FBMI) will launch its rebranded retail arm Zuleya, displaying some of the finest handicrafts made in Afghanistan and hosting a live weaving workshop.

Joining the record number of design galleries and studios from across the region are: returning exhibitors Nisreen and Nermaan Abu Dail of Naqsh Collective (Jordan), Iwan Maktabi and Vick Vanlian (both Lebanon), Coalesce (Pakistan); and Aisha Al-Sowaidi (Qatar). The fair also welcomes newcomers Apical Reform (India), Aperçu Designs (Jordan), Marie Munier (Lebanon), Dahr (Saudi Arabia) and Ahmad Angawi, represented by King Abdullaziz Center for World Culture (Saudi Arabia).

Design Days Dubai’s new location at d3 has offered the opportunity to revisit and refresh its layout, introducing a variety of communal areas such as a terrace with adjoining radio station pod for live interviews, and a bookstore with café stocking architecture and design books from the region.

For the first time, the fair’s popular public programme of talks and workshops will move beyond the fair’s venue with an offsite talks programme at Dubai’s new Etihad Museum, bringing design to the wider city. The talks form part of a programme of initiatives led by Dubai Culture to mark the 2017 UK-UAE Year of Creative Collaboration, led by the British Council, which includes ‘Britain Takes Shape’, an exhibition of British contemporary design held at Design Days Dubai.

Design Days Dubai is owned and managed by Art Dubai Group and is held under Art Week, an umbrella initiative bringing together the UAE’s arts and culture-centred happenings in the month of March with the aim of promoting the cultural activities of the region to both residents and visitors.

For more information about Design Days Dubai, please visit the website, Supporters can also keep up-to-date via social media channels: Facebook Instagram Twitter