Days like these

Days like these

Cyril Zammit, Design Days Dubai

I joined the cultural department of TDIC (Abu Dhabi) in September 2009, in charge of sponsorship (including the launch of Abu Dhabi Art). It was through this, I met Ben Floyd, one of the co-founders of Art Dubai, who wanted to start a fair entirely dedicated to collectible and limited edition design.Design Days Dubai will sell collectible and limited edition furniture and objects, from a range of international and regional galleries.

The pieces will be unique, giving visitors a chance to discover a universe of infinite creativity and craftsmanship. We will feature a series of public talks and workshops, creating a space for people to share their ideas and expertise, engaging in an inspirational and constructive exchange.Over 20 galleries from across the world will present exceptional design.

These pieces have to be seen as a form of art, not only objects. They are a great investment in the same way as a painting or a sculpture is.

Aside from the commercial element, we are planning an exhaustive series of events during the week: workshops (mornings and evenings), lectures and seminars on the design market and its trends. Nada Debs, one of our patrons, will lead two three-hour sessions with one-to-one discussions with students, reviewing their portfolio and giving them advice.

We are also organising a private session for interior designers over lunch on Tuesday, March 20, where professionals can meet gallery owners, patrons and designers and visit the fair.We decided to hold the event now because with the maturity of the art market, high-end and collectible design is next in line. You cannot set up your house or office ignoring the objects or furniture in it.

The galleries and designers represented at Design Days Dubai are often working with interior designers. They are commissioned to produce unique pieces for private residences but also offices, hotels and shops. There is a natural place for design in Dubai. The city has been recognised as creative and forward thinking for several years now.

It is a catalyst of the regional and international design talents. The next phase is to start a dialogue between students, designers and the industry in the UAE and the region. There is an important win-win opportunity here to (re)discover production skills for a bespoke and limited edition line.

It is beneficial for students and designers because they can have the support of the industry but also for factories as they learn new techniques that can enhance and develop their skills and knowledge. Design Days Dubai will not disappear for one year until its next edition in 2013.

We will team up with local institutions to regularly bring the topic of design alive through seminars, workshops and exhibitions. The event is held in partnership with Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and sponsored by Van Cleef & Arpels, Audi and Emaar.

Cyril Zammit, fair director, Design Days Dubai, March 18-21. Visit

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