Reflecting the zeitgeist, which sees Emirati women in leadership roles in both private and public sectors, Khadija Al Bastaki, the new executive director of Dubai Design District, has honed her management skills in the public sector realm in a variety of roles, including business development and protocol, portfolio management, and international relations for the TECOM Group.
Having developed the 8,500-strong professional community in just under five years, d3’s success makes for an interesting case study. Al Bastaki reckons that in addition to being a commercially successful business community, it is the energy and vibe of the place which gives it a strong edge. “The pool of talent, designers, and creative minds all around is what makes this venue so iconic,” she says. “Even the product offerings at d3 are unique, from the point of view of established companies, start-ups, and students. Ranging from world-class infrastructure to co-working and commercial spaces, as well as plots of land, and warehouse facilities, the framework offers everything which businesses need to set-up and grow.”
Having hosted high profile industry events, which have a large international audience, and have played a pivotal role in boosting d3’s cachet beyond the UAE, where does it go from here? Al Bastaki is convinced that sustaining and scaling businesses is the way to move forward.“Our objective is to bridge our business partners by creating a platform for them to engage with each other and international firms,” she says, adding that a large part of this initiative is to provide support to homegrown SMEs and boutique practices. “We will work closely with relevant government bureaus to open connections and develop wider platforms.”
Read the full interview in the April 2019 edition of Commercial Interior Design.