Dubai Design Week 2023: Here's What You Can't Miss

  • Publish date: Friday، 03 November 2023 Last update: Tuesday، 07 November 2023
Dubai Design Week 2023: Here's What You Can't Miss

Dubai Design Week is back for its tenth season, and this year, it's happening in one of the trendiest places in town – Dubai Design District (d3). From November 7 to 12, art, design, and culture enthusiasts are in for a treat with six full days of events, exhibitions, workshops, pop-ups, and insightful talks.

There will be over 500 participants hailing from over 40 countries worldwide, making it a truly global affair. In this Year of Sustainability, and with COP28 just around the corner, you can expect many activities and discussions focused on sustainable themes.

What’s exciting is this event is completely free to attend, allowing you to immerse yourself in a diverse program without spending a single penny.

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and a member of the Dubai Council, this event is the region's largest design extravaganza.

Here’s everything you can’t miss for this exciting week of art, culture, and design:

1. Abwab

Dubai Design Week

Abwab, meaning 'doors' in Arabic, stands as a distinctive highlight of Dubai Design Week, dedicated to commissioning works from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. It serves as a vital platform to showcase creative talent and encourage cultural exchange. Each year, Abwab undergoes thematic transformations to resonate with contemporary global and regional contexts.

Notably, 187 designers from various nations in the region have participated in Abwab, including Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the UAE. In 2023, the commissioned work, 'Of Palm,' is crafted by Emirati architect Abdalla Almulla, the founder of MULA design studio. This sustainable pavilion promises to be a vibrant hub for performances throughout the six-day event, embodying the essence of cultural exchange and innovation.

2. Downtown Design

Dubai Design Week 2023: Here's What You Can't Miss

Downtown Design, the anchor event of Dubai Design Week, marks its 10th edition as the leading Middle East design fair. This dynamic event brings together global design leaders, showcasing the latest collections, innovative products, and design solutions. Taking place at the d3 Waterfront Terrace from November 8 to 11, it's the ultimate destination for interior design enthusiasts, reinforcing Dubai's status as the Middle East's design capital.

3. Exhibitions and Pop-Ups

Dubai Design Week 2023: Here's What You Can't Miss

Dubai Design Week has become a yearly celebration that presents an array of captivating installations that ignite the imagination of visitors.These exhibitions serve as a platform for both established designers to unveil their latest creations and emerging talents to flourish.

Dubai Design Week 2023: Here's What You Can't Miss

The multimedia exhibitions at Dubai Design Week cater to professionals, design enthusiasts, and curious visitors alike. They seamlessly integrate a diverse spectrum of design disciplines, ranging from furniture and fashion to interior design, creating a melting pot of creative expressions. This year's highlights feature free-to-enter exhibitions and pop-ups, including the "100/100 Best Arabic Poster," spotlighting the work of UAE-based designers, and an exploration of sustainable design by London's prestigious The Royal College of Art.

4. Installations

Dubai Design Week 2023: Here's What You Can't Miss

Dubai Design Week is renowned for its exceptional installations, uniting designers, architects, brands, and creatives from around the world to demonstrate the boundless power of imagination and innovation in the realm of design

This 2023 Dubai Design Week will present over 20 installations, focusing on the convergence of design, science, and technology to revitalize materials of the past and shape new sustainable forms. Notable installations include the "Made In Earth Collective" from India, which utilizes an everyday agricultural by-product, loofah, to craft a sensorial landscape. Architects Wael Al Awar and Kazuma Yamao of "waiwai" will introduce "Urban Hadeera," a prototype of a traditional structural shelter using sustainable cement alternatives developed through their research project Wetland Lab.

Dubai Design Week 2023: Here's What You Can't Miss

Among these creations, d3 will host "The Altostrata," a remarkable 3D-printed pavilion constructed from biodegradable sugar-based material, emphasizing sustainability as a key theme throughout the event.

5. Marketplace

Dubai Design Week 2023: Here's What You Can't Miss

The Dubai Design Week Marketplace is set to deliver an even more diverse experience this year, featuring over 50 brands making their debut. This vibrant marketplace not only offers a wide array of products but also serves as a platform to connect, discover, and engage the entire family.

From fashion hailing from Kenya and Colombia to beachwear sourced from Turkey and Morocco, homeware crafted in Sri Lanka and the UAE, and a wide option of handcrafted jewelry, vegan leather bags, contemporary henna art, and unique ceramic designs, it's a collection of global creativity.

Dubai Design Week 2023: Here's What You Can't Miss

For those looking to unleash their creative side, sustainable activations suitable for all ages are available, from pottery wheel sessions to planting ghaf seeds, building rocket ships, and engaging in mindful coloring. Food enthusiasts are in for a treat, with 15+ delectable, locally sourced food options ranging from spicy samosas to South Asian noodles, fresh-baked pizzas to West African vegan cuisine, along with a variety of specialty coffees, bubble tea, sweet waffles, and locally made gelato.

6. Workshops and Talks

Dubai Design Week 2023: Here's What You Can't Miss

Dubai Design Week's diverse program features an array of live talks, panel discussions, and keynotes, uniting regional and international designers, creatives, and thought-leaders. This dynamic platform serves to share industry insights, exchange ideas, and ignite meaningful debates. Talks unfold across various festival venues, with the main stage, known as "The Forum," situated within Downtown Design, featuring a unique amphitheatre concept envisioned annually by a local design studio.

Dubai Design Week 2023: Here's What You Can't Miss

Complementing the discussions are a range of workshops and masterclasses led by practitioners. Natasha Carella, Programming Director for Dubai Design Week, emphasizes the 2023 edition's focus on sustainability, aligning with the UAE's Year of Sustainability. This forward-thinking approach aims to foster dialogue and provoke thought, highlighting how diverse practices can converge to champion sustainability, a pivotal aspect shaping the future of the design industry.

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