Dubai Design Week 2019 - Photo vias IG via @mydubai

Dubai Design Week 2020 – Photo via IG via @mydubai.

Dubai 2020Dubai Design Week 2020, the sixth edition of Middle East’s leading design week, takes over the Emirati metropolis offering new opportunities to the region’s creative community. This year the global event’s mission is to “give centre stage to local and regional talent and reflecting on the role of designers in redefining the way we live in a COVID-impacted world”.

Staged in strategic partnership with Dubai Design District (d3) within a safe open-air setting, Dubai Design Week 2020 stages a series of installations, urban interventions and outdoor experiences as well as a rich digital programme of talks and virtual platforms. The creative week is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and with the support of A.R.M. Holding.

‘The Shape of Things to Come’ exhibition



The Shape of Things to Come exhibition features conceptual work by the region’s architects and interior designers as they imagine how we will interact with our environment and each other. Saudi Sibyl Design Studio explores how Middle Eastern cities can develop engaging, Lebanese architect Rabih Geha imagines the nightclubs of the future and Kuwait based Studio Toggle explores the evolving restaurant culture.

d3 Architecture Festival

View of d3 - Courtesy of Dubai Design Week.

View of d3 – Courtesy of Dubai Design Week.

Dubai’s inaugural architecture festival showcases landmark regional architectural projects under the theme ‘Identity, Context and Placemaking in the Gulf’. Curated by Juan Roldan in partnership with RIBA Gulf Chapter, the exhibition features models, drawings and projects from the most exciting architects working in the Gulf. This is a celebration of what has been achieved by architects in the region and, more importantly, what is to come from the emerging generation of local companies and graduating students.

MENA Grad Show

Global Grad Show 2018. Photo via Instagram - Follow @desgininnovationcentre.

Global Grad Show 2018. Photo via Instagram via @desgininnovationcentre.

The inaugural MENA Grad Show showcases the best social impact innovation graduation projects from over 35 universities based in the Middle East and North Africa, in the fields of technology, science and design. On show a personal positioning system to help the visually impaired navigate independently, a microwave-enabled monitor to reduce water loss in pipelines by 50%, an alternative to concrete using palm tree waste and a streamlined process to extract lithium from the ocean.

Abwab: ‘Fata Morgana’ pavilion

FATA MORGANA pavilion by Hozan Zangana - Photo via IG via @dubaidesignweek © 2020 Hozan Zangana.

Photo via IG via @dubaidesignweek © 2020 Hozan Zangana.

Abwab, the word for ‘gate’ in Arabic, is the platform for regional design talent. This year, Iraqi designer Hozan Zangana teamed up with with Generous Studio and Woodcast Designs to create the Fata Morgana landmark installation. Focusing on the framework of a modern-day city through an open-plan arrangement of components arranged around a central origin point, the pavilion addresses city dwellers’ ever-changing relationship with their public realm and the constant need for public interventions that serve the purposes of shelter, respite and relaxation, while incorporating natural social distancing.

‘Basta’ outdoor retail experience

BASTA by Reema Almheiri and Lujain Alatiq - Courtesy of the architects

BASTA by Reema Almheiri and Lujain Alatiq – Courtesy of the architects.

A.R.M. Holding invited architects and designers from the MENA region to create an innovative, multi-purpose retail unit for a new outdoor market experience. Titled ‘Basta’, the winning proposal’ by emerging Emirati and Saudi architects Reema Almheiri and Lujain Alatiq is an adaptable and cost-efficient modular kiosk made from sustainable materials inspired by traditional outdoor market. The design will be unveiled at the new pop-up market in the heart of Dubai Design District (d3) on November 13, 2020.

UAE Designers Exhibition

D3 EMIRATI DESIGNERS - Courtesy of Dubai Design Week 2018.

Courtesy of Dubai Design Week.

Staged in Dubai Design District (d3), the exhibition responds to the repercussions of the ongoing pandemic on the local creative sector, Dubai Design Week offers UAE-based creatives a platform to strengthen their audience base and professional network, through a curated exhibition. Works on display range from home accessories and jewellery to furniture, as well as subjects of sustainability, material experimentation and craft innovation.

Outdoor installations

PERSIAN PARADISE GARDEN by Studio Meshary AlNassar x Cosentino - Image via IG @dubaidesignweek.

PERSIAN PARADISE GARDEN by Studio Meshary AlNassar x Cosentino – Image via IG @dubaidesignweek.

Throughout the open-air, pedestrian setting of Dubai Design District (d3), social distancing outdoor installations and public interventions include convertible seatings by renowned Emirati designers such as Khalid Shafar, Aljoud Lootah and Hamad Khoory. Multi-disciplinary Kuwait-based Studio Meshary AlNassar has joined forces with global surface brand Cosentino to present a contemporary take on the ancient Persian paradise garden as an antidote for enclosed spaces. Jumanah Rizk and Delta Light showcases an abstract installation rooted in a contextual exploration of material that cultivates the local and natural resources in response to COVID-19.


Fashcultivate - Photo via IG by @1971designspace

Photo via IG by @1971designspace

Presented by 1971 Design Space, the Fashcultivate exhibition celebrates the date palms as an integral part of the region’s cultural and historical identity through 7 commissioned textile pieces by Gulf-based designers. The designers researched date palms extensively, thereby defining certain narratives, aligning them with their own ideas and merging them into final, hand-crafted results.

Bespoke design at Tashkeel

QAWS byt Neda Salmanpour - Courtesy of Tashkeel.

QAWS byt Neda Salmanpour – Courtesy of Tashkeel.

Tashkeel unveils limited-edition pieces designed and manufactured by female designers Lina GhalibNada Abu Shaqra and Neda Salmanpour, all participant of the 2020 Tanween design programme. From November 11, a solo exhibition by Chafa Ghaddar shines a new light on the ancient mural-making technique of fresco by challenging the “wall” and the idea of completion.

International showcases

Mediamatic SERRES SEPARÉES - Photo by Anne Lakeman and Willem Velthoven.

Mediamatic SERRES SEPARÉES – All photos by Anne Lakeman and Willem Velthoven.

Embassy of Switzerland presents Bring Your Own Mask exhibition showcasing a series of 3D-printed works and studies of young Swiss designers rethinking the hygienic mask. In collaboration with Institut Francais in the UAE, an exhibition draws inspiration from life in a small space, such as astronauts when they are confined at the International Space Station to focus on space exploration and design, creating connections between the global lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis. On show also the Serres Séparées a social distancing dining concept placed in the heart of d3, presented by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the NetherlandsFind out more.