Art & DesignEverything you need to know about Dubai Design Week

Ground-breaking, extravagant, interactive: discover the Middle East's largest celebration of creativity

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The largest creative festival in the Middle East, Dubai Design Week is an arts extravaganza. Positioning Dubai as a global powerhouse for cutting-edge creativity, the six-day event runs from 11-15 November 2019 and showcases the finest architecture, product design, interiors, multimedia and graphic design. Hot on the heels of Frieze London or Art Basel in Miami, Dubai Design Week is emerging as a serious date on the global creative calendar. From what to see to new names to watch, here’s our guide to everything you need to know about Dubai Design Week.

women dubai design week


The basics

Taking place each November, Dubai Design Week is held, unsurprisingly, in the Dubai Design District (d3). A hive of shops, studios and galleries, d3 is an incubator of homegrown talent, nurturing Dubai’s creative community. During Dubai Design Week, d3 transforms into an astonishing showcase of upcoming designers, open to both industry and public. Aside from innovative installations and progressive exhibitions, Dubai Design Week has an unmissable extra-curricular programme of talks, forums and workshops running alongside the event.

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What to see

The jewel in Dubai Design Week’s crown is the Downtown Design showcase. Exhibiting in 2019 is a medley of established megabrands like Austria’s Atelier Swarovski and Moser from the Czech Republic, along with homegrown talent like product design studio, Kashida and furniture label ANCA. It’s a joy to simply discover the artistic talent on display by wandering through the pavilions, but if you’re looking do a little more than window shop, then visitors can invest in a statement piece of limited edition design or commission a one-off by a UAE designer at Downtown Editions.

One of Dubai Design Week’s key exhibitions each year is Abwab. Translating to ‘doors’ in Arabic, this show is about installations on a grand scale that you can explore and wander around. In 2019 the theme is classrooms and each of the participating pavilions from India, the Eastern Provinces of Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon will be recreating local classrooms from their cultures.

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Other must-see, off-the-wall installations in 2019 include From the Heart, ROCA x Saeta Estudi’s gigantic beating heart made from 3,284 pieces of porcelain sanitary ware and Dr Georges Kachaamy’s floating structure, Levitate, which hovers futuristically using anti-gravity technology.

installation dubai design week


Flex your creative muscle by getting stuck into Dubai Design Week’s hands-on workshops and immersive talks. From designing and making your own table lamp out of concrete to 3D printing your photos as lithophanes, you can try your hand at experimental crafts. Pulling in a stellar cast of industry leader speakers, Dubai Design Week is hosting talks from the likes of interior designer to the stars, Greg Natale and shoemaker extraordinaire, Christian Louboutin in 2019.

Above all, Dubai Design Week is the ultimate platform for homegrown Middle Eastern talent and nowhere better to witness it than at the Global Grad Show. Uniting graduates from the fields of design, science and technology, this showcase presents the innovative work from over 100 universities worldwide, with an emphasis on social and environmental issues.

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How to visit

Dubai Design Week is open each day between 11 – 15 November 2019 from 10am – 10pm and 10am – 5pm on 16 November 2019. Dubai Design District (d3) is located beside Dubai Creek, next to Downtown Dubai.

Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, not far from the Design District, makes the perfect base to explore the Middle East's largest creative festival.