Returning for its fifth year, Downtown Dubai takes place from November 14-17. The event’s director, Rue Kothari shares with designMENA what’s in store.
Downtown Design, a key part of Dubai Design Week, will have almost doubled in size from last year, according to Kothari. The fair has relocated to a new site within Dubai Design District (d3), and will have a fresh look and feel throughout.
“Not only does this reflect the strength of the show and its exhibitor line-up, but also the growth in the high-demand sectors of lighting, furniture, and textile design,” says Kothari.
“The show [focuses] on connecting exhibitors to the region’s leading architects and interior designers. Helping brands and buyers to unlock the potential of the Middle East design market is at the heart of our success.”
The fair will present established and emerging brands in product categories from indoor, outdoor, and office furniture to bathrooms, kitchens, lighting, and flooring, as well as tiles, textiles, and accessories from around the world.
Having grown 350% in the last five years, Downtown Design 2017 will cover 10,000m², and will welcome a total of 130 different brands, 70 of which are new to the fair. Some of the key new brands for the 2017 edition will include Meridiani (Caspaiou), B&B Italia (Baituti), Baccarat, Designer’s Guild (Maison D’Art), Saint Louis, L’Objet, Marset, Vondom, Ethimo, CC Tapis, Humanscale, Santa Cole, Nahoor, Sans Souci, Studio Italia, and Alias.
Some of the key new brands for the 2017 edition will include Meridiani (Caspaiou), B&B Italia (Baituti), Baccarat, Designer’s Guild (Maison D’Art), Saint Louis, L’Objet, Marset, Vondom, Ethimo, CC Tapis, Humanscale, Santa Cole, Nahoor, Sans Souci, Studio Italia, and Alias.
Design from 23 different countries will be represented, with exhibitors from throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, India, and the US participating. Regional exhibitors in the spotlight will include Apical Reform, with its bespoke design objects, and SACD, Studio A, and Roudha Al Shamsi, with their furniture collections.
Regional exhibitors in the spotlight will include Apical Reform, with its bespoke design objects, and SACD, Studio A, and Roudha Al Shamsi, with their furniture collections. Handmade tiles and baby cribs will be displayed by Mosaico and Misk, respectively; Ayka Designs will present its range of rugs; and ceramics and tableware from Designed by Hind will be showcased.
“The Italian pavilion will return for a third year, and will this year be joined by a new Portuguese pavilion presenting the best in industrial design. We’re seeing more interest from countries like Spain and Portugal, who see the fair is an important gateway to access the Middle East market,” adds Kothari., concluding: “Our brands have invested even more this year to ensure their stands are experiential and impactful.”
The new-look fair will feature a reception garden with an installation designed and executed by Desert Ink, and a café by The Lighthouse. The event will also host The Forum, which will present a programme of talks and workshops for design professionals, and a hosted buyer programme, which will see more than 100 buyers from outside the UAE take part.
Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, chief operating officer of Dubai Design District, comments: “We’re delighted to welcome Downtown Design again to d3 as part of this year’s Dubai Design Week. The success of the show is proof the design industry in Dubai and across the region is growing. Downtown Design alongside d3 during Dubai Design Week is a powerful combination, underpinning Dubai’s position as an essential and dynamic market for local, regional and international brands.”
See full exhibitor list for 2017 edition here.