Downtown Dubai returns for the seventh year with increased participation from international design brands to elevate the city's status as a regional creative powerhouse.
The GCC's largest design trade fair – held under the patronage of HH Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid, chairperson of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority – will be the most international to date. More than 30 countries will be represented with 100 new brands like Pedrali, Moser & Interiors and Skram from Italy, Czech Republic and the US respectively, joining other long-time favourite, such as Preciosa.
To create a stunning setting, Downtown Design has collaborated with Wilson Associates, Swiss Bureau and XBD Collective to create the fair’s public areas, including the bar, café and entrance. We spoke to the companies about their creations and you can find out more about them in the following pages of this Downtown Design special report.
Elsewhere, Preciosa will return with another showstopper when the Czech lighting company debuts Carousel of Light in the Middle East. The experiential installation will be one of the most-talked-about designs at the fair, but there are many more. Anthony James will bring his dynamic glass and LED sculpture Icosahedron, while global architecture practice LWK + Partners will showcase an interactive space reflecting the heritage and modernity of its Chinese base. Jennie Binchy and Mustafa Khamash – Commercial Interior Design Awards 2019 judges – will both showcase products. Binchy & Binchy will unveil bespoke art pieces that can be used as tables or decorative plinths. Khamash’s Kart Group, meanwhile, will launch an installation and use the proceeds from its sale to provide a scholarship for an underprivileged design student. The company did this in 2018 to fund a scholarship at the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation in partnership with Dubai Holding.
Elsewhere, UAE interior design and architecture studio Interspace will launch a custom-made furniture collection. Melani Sabhaney’s three-piece Eden Collection is manufactured in the UAE and uses local materials and craftsmanship.
There is something for every design lover at the trade fair, which will welcome tens of thousands during its four-day billing. Downtown Design is one of the signature events taking place during Dubai Design Week, which runs from 11-16 November. It will reinforce the emirate's status as a UNESCO Creative City of Design, empowering the industry to seize the moment and raise the bar for great design.