Ávila by Nella Figueroa - Photo courtesy of Downtown Design 2023.

Ávila by Nella Figueroa – All photos courtesy of Downtown Design 2023.

Design – Women take centre stage at Downtown Design. The Dubai Design Week‘s anchor event celebrates its 10th anniversary with over 300 internationally renowned brands and manufacturers alongside independent designers, collectives and studios from the region and beyond.

Downtown Design x the Gaza emergency
“In response to the devastating events occurring in Gaza, the Art Dubai Group, owner of Downtown Design, has been raising funds to support the many innocent civilians affected by this tragedy.” Thanks to a new entrance fee, entirely donated to Emirates Red Crescent, “the Art Dubai Group will match the total funds raised, including the donations made by our team.”
Female Artists of the Middle East (F.A.M.E.), Solid Wood Mirror by Collective_Sahar Bizri - Courtesy of Downtown Design 2023.

Female Artists of the Middle East (F.A.M.E.), Solid Wood Mirror by Sahar Bizri.

Fatma Al Mahmoud is the curator of the UAE Designer Exhibition dedicated to local talents. “I sought to showcase designers and studios committed to crafting living spaces that embrace social impact and eco-consciousness. Let’s celebrate our cultural diversity and empower communities through design that makes a positive difference.”

Downtown Design 2023 - Courtesy of Downtown Design 2023.

Elif Resitoglu, cofounder and creative director of Isola Design Group, co-curates Anatolia, a collective exhibition featuring the work of 25 Turkish and Middle Eastern designers, design studios, and brands active in the Turkish peninsula at the crossroads of ancient civilisations.

ANATOLIA exhibition by Isola at Downtown Design - Photo by Ivan Erofeev, courtesy of Downtown Design 2023.

ANATOLIA exhibition by Isola at Downtown Design – Photo by Ivan Erofeev.

 After last year’s debut, Jwana Hamdam returns to Dubai with the second outdoor furniture collection. Founder Jwana Hamdan, an Italian entrepreneur of Lebanese descent, looks to the traditions of both Italian and Middle Eastern countries to reinterpret them with a contemporary taste. Each design demonstrates detail, innovation, and high quality and transmits the brand’s values linked to a shared cultural and social heritage.

The Wandering Majlis collection by Jwana Hamdan - Photo by Rami Mansour, courtesy of Downtown Design 2023.

The Wandering Majlis collection by Jwana Hamdan – Photo by Rami Mansour.

Female Artists of the Middle East is a social enterprise that empowers and unites female artists and designers of the MENA region. It celebrates their stories and creativity to bring about social change by showcasing the talent and diversity of the modern MENA woman. Founded in 2019 by Christiana Jabara and Lara Jabara, the platform presents bespoke furniture, fine jewellery, and ‘artwear’ by Saha Bizri, Carla Baz and more.

Female Artists of the Middle East (F.A.M.E.) Collective, Carla Baz Collection - Photo courtesy of Downtown Design 2023.

Female Artists of the Middle East (F.A.M.E.) Collective, Carla Baz Collection.

Agatha Kurzela presents the Game Of Life carpets woven by hand by Afghan women. The project was developed in collaboration with FBMI, the sustainable initiative by Her Highness Fatima Bint Mohamed Bin Zayed that empower female communities, and Zuleya, FBMI’s carpet weaving enterprise. “Inspired by research into traditional Sadu patterns, our project opted for a mathematical approach using Conway’s Game of Life algorithm,” the designer explains. Part of the proceeds will go to the Emirates Red Crescent.

Game of life by Agata Kurzela - Photo courtesy of Downtown Design 2023.

Game of life by Agata Kurzela.

Palestinian artist and designer Areen Hassan presents a textile installation that transcends conventional design boundaries, weaving together a tapestry of cultural identity, continuity, and spiritedness. By preserving the individuality of the threads, the installation emphasises the importance of honouring diversity within a cohesive whole.

Portrait of Areen Hassan - Photo courtesy of Downtown Design 2023.

Portrait of Areen Hassan.

Jewellery designer Sheikha Al Serkal presents The Flow, a rug design inspired by the beauty in the natural movement of water. “The swirls represent the strong flow of energy within oceans, while the light blues and browns reflect the changing seasons.” Explains the designer. “The small drops of water represent the individual moments in time that make up our lives and the way they flow together to create a larger whole.”

The Flow by Sheika Al Serkal with Diana Hawatmeh.

The Flow by Sheika Al Serkal with Diana Hawatmeh.

Based in Karachi, Pakistan, ALEEYA Design Studio was founded by Aleeya Khan, a Columbia University-trained architect aiming to transform her nation via minimal, modern, and sustainable design. At Downtown Design 2023, she expanded her ongoing Deskscape office collection with a set of architectural table lamps.

Deskscape Lamp by ALEEYA Design Studio x a littlemore studio - Photo courtesy of Downtown Design 2023.

Deskscape Lamp by ALEEYA Design Studio x a* littlemore studio.

After graduating in product design in her home town, Caracas, Nella Figueroa worked in Milan for Maurizio Lai and in Amsterdam for Karim Rashid before settling under the Burj-Khalifa. At Downtown Design 2023, she presents the Ávila collection, comprising a water jug and a set of cups handcrafted from sustainable and locally produced materials. The clay vase recalls the warmth and timeless beauty of the desert. The cup’s dark bases are made from date seeds and pay tribute to palm trees.

Ávila by Nella Figueroa - Photo courtesy of Downtown Design 2023.

Ávila by Nella Figueroa.

Diana Hawatmeth pays homage to the Art Deco movement with a vibrant rug design standing out for brightly coloured irregular shapes contrasted with neutral tones. The result is an overall playful and contemporary effect celebrating creativity and the power of art to transform our lives.

Art Deco by Diana Hawatmeh & Sheika Al Serkal.

Art Deco by Diana Hawatmeh & Sheika Al Serkal.

Literally meaning art suitcase, Art Attaichi is a project by Indian architect and designer Fainy Thakor celebrating her love for art and travel. The new designs are primitive yet contemporary sculptural vessels. Each piece is handcrafted to blend the old with the new.

New vessels by Art Attaichi - Photo courtesy of Downtown Design 2023.

New vessels by Art Attaichi – Photo courtesy of Downtown Design 2023.