The fifth edition of Dubai Design Week, the largest creative festival in the Middle East, is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

  • Dubai Design Week 2019 presents its most extensive programme to date with over 200 events and over 150 participating organisations
  • The region’s leading fair for original and high-quality design, Downtown Design showcases new country pavilions and 100 new brands
  • Global Grad Show, held in partnership with Investment Corporation of Dubai, returns with the most diverse edition to-date featuring 100+ universities, with new entrants including established names such as The University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and Goldsmiths, alongside leading universities from Colombia, Kuwait and the Philippines.
  • R.M. Holding launches a AED 10 million fund to support Global Grad Show projects
  • Guest Curator Ghassan Salameh spotlights regional design with educational exhibition ‘MADAR’, presented within Downtown Editions, the fair’s showcase for bespoke and limited-edition design
  • Abwab presents three country pavilions, spotlighting design from Eastern Provinces of Saudi Arabia (supported by Ithra), Lebanon and India
  • This year’s edition of the festival offers its largest free-to-attend public weekend programme, which includes a Designathon and live street jazz at the Akiba Garden
  • Over 100 talks and workshops are taking place throughout the week in d3

Staged in strategic partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), with the support of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (DCAA) alongside Audi and A.R.M. Holding, the fifth edition of Dubai Design Week presents its most multidisciplinary and extensive programme to date. Consisting of over 200 events by over 150 participating companies, the week-long festival comprises of a wide range of exhibitions, installations, panel discussions and workshops, as well as city-wide events for design enthusiasts and the public alike, highlighting the design identity of the UAE.

With its main hub in d3, the business community dedicated to the art and design industries, Dubai Design Week has been a key player in cementing the city as a destination for design professionals and enthusiasts. This year’s programme focuses on regional designers, offering more opportunities than ever for visitors to directly engage with them, and creating a dialogue that affirms Dubai’s position as the region’s creative capital.

Khadija Al Bastaki, Chief Executive of Dubai Design District (d3), says: “d3 has played a pivotal role in establishing Dubai Design Week as the largest regional design event. As the strategic partner, d3 helps aspiring designers translate their disruptive ideas into commercial success by providing a valuable platform to promote the wealth of creative talent that exists both in the UAE and the wider region. Over the years, we have brought some of the region’s most renowned design talent to Dubai to add vibrance and depth to the local creative community. d3 has created a robust foundation for the design industry to grow in the UAE, bringing events like Dubai Design Week to unlock a wealth of opportunities for the region as well as its emerging talents.”


Downtown Design, 12 - 15 November 2019

At the heart of Dubai Design Week is Downtown Design, the leading fair for high-quality and original design in the Middle East. With increased participation from international brands, including Arper, Pedrali, Preciosa, Skram and Swarovski, this year’s edition is the most varied yet. Country pavilions have also expanded to include France and Spain spotlighting their manufacturing strengths.

Downtown Editions is the fair’s dedicated section for limited-edition and bespoke design with a spotlight on regional talent. Exhibiting designers include Kuwaiti Meshary AlNassar, with a new collection of sculptural marble lights, Sharjah-based Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council who presents pieces of traditional and modern crafts, and UAE-based Tashkeel who unveils the outcome of their 2019 Tanween Design Programme featuring designers: Abdalla Al Mulla, Lana El Samman and Yara Habib. Aljoud Lootah presents a limited-edition collection of objects inspired by the Emirati wooden dowry chest, while Fernando Mastrangelo launches a collection of mirrors inspired by the geographic features of Dubai.


An initiative supported by d3 and curated by Dubai Design Week Guest Curator, Ghassan Salameh, MADAR is an educational exhibition that sheds light on the current emerging movements and initiatives in the design market of the region today situated within Downtown Editions. The curated exhibition features work by regional designers and design experts based in the Middle East, offering insights on the different components and stakeholders that constitute the ecosystem behind the design industry as well as highlight the various stages of starting a design business. Taking a closer look at regional design activity through a diversity of design-related projects showcased in a non-hierarchal display aiming for an inclusive, the exhibition features a diverse representation from Amman, Cairo, Beirut, Kuwait, Bethlehem, Sharjah and Dubai.”

Ghassan Salameh, Guest Curator of Dubai Design Week, says:The Middle East is home for an incredibly young population that thrives on change, using it as fuel for creative aspirations. Translating to ‘Orbit’ in English, MADAR is a metaphor, showing that ideas are moving around, never remain still and are always evolving.”

Global Grad Show, 12 - 16 November 2019

Now in its fifth year, Global Grad Show, the world’s largest and most diverse gathering of universities, will return to Dubai from 12-16 November once again in partnership with Investment Corporation of Dubai. Free and open to the public during Dubai Design Week, Global Grad Show is a key event and is the only exhibition of its kind, showcasing graduate projects from over 100 universities from 43 countries, in the fields of design, science, technology and engineering.

Under the curation of Eleanor Watson, Global Grad Show explores how innovation can impact our lives through different scales: The Human, The Home, The Community, The City and The Planet. This year’s expanded programme includes the “Innovating for Social Impact” conference, as well as an Entrepreneurship Programme for participating students.

Eleanor Watson, Curator of Global Grad Show, says:Global Grad Show is a unique moment in the design calendar as it allows so many different people to come together and celebrate the discipline, taking stock of where we are and allowing us a moment to reflect on where we want to go. We are facing a time of immense change- environmentally, socially, politically- and it is very heartening to spend time learning from all of these bright young minds who are setting themselves the challenge of facing this landscape head-on, with intelligence and compassion. I hope that visitors to Global Grad Show will leave feeling refreshed, inspired, and empowered.”

Dubai-based conglomerate, A.R.M. Holding, with investments in a variety of sectors including real estate, education and telecommunications, announced that it has established an AED 10 million fund to support start-ups that are conceptualised by graduate talent from around the world over the next 10-years. Through Global Grad Show, A.R.M. Holding is announcing this initiative in line with the Emirate’s vision to elevate the level of talent flowing into the country and region.

This year, Global Grad Show presents a conference, curated by Community Jameel, for industry professionals and academics, promoting knowledge exchange between institutions, titled “Innovating for Social Impact”. The conference explores how institutions can be catalysts for sustainable development and social impact across the world. Drawing from the experience of professors, graduates, entrepreneurs and stakeholders, shedding light on the learnings from initiatives that use sustainable innovation in the fields of technology, architecture and design.


Translated as ‘doors’ in Arabic, Abwab is an architectural installation that offers a platform for design talent from across the Middle East. In its fifth edition, the designers selected from India, the Eastern Provinces of Saudi Arabia (supported by Ithra) and Lebanon were challenged to recreate the local classrooms of their cultures through one common theme: “ways of learning”.

The projects include: ‘Qissa Ghar’ meaning ‘Home of Stories’ presented by The Busride Studio which retells creation myths from across India brought to life on Khadi lanterns.WALL(T)Z’ by Polish-Lebanese sisters Tessa & Tara Sakhi, known as T SAKHI Architects, present a journey depicting real and imagined walls. The Eastern Provinces of Saudi Arabia present ‘Sa’afby Shahad Alazaz, founder of Azaz Architects, in collaboration with local craftspeople, the work investigates palm fronds woven textiles banded together as a symbolic representation of community.

Rawan Kashkoush, Creative Director of Dubai Design Week, said: “One of the strongest aspects of the festival this year is the collaborative spirit with which our partners, brands and studios have come together to develop concepts and share knowledge, speaking volumes of the way to approach the next phase of living on our planet. Dubai Design Week has acted as an invitation to expand our attitude towards sharing and there is no better place to do it than at the world’s most diverse intersection.”


With a focus on design talent from the region, a series of site-specific installations are situated within the Design Quarter of d3, including:

‘Umbra’, an immersive gateway to Dubai Design Week at d3, is a collaboration between Finsa and Emirati design studio Tinkah, inviting visitors to explore the interplay of shadow and light inspired by the Mashrabiya, an element of traditional Middle Eastern architecture historically used as a window or spatial partition.

MAS Architecture Studio have produced a six-m etre tall installation titled ‘Barjeel’, inspired by the traditional wind towers of the UAE, composed from layers of reclaimed cardboard and strip lighting in an exercise to build from reused materials.

‘The Maze’ by Nyxo Visionary Design consists of an interface composed of modular panels. The dynamic installation explores interactive surfaces with a sculptural quality creating a seamless and unique pattern every time the visitor reconfigures the rotation.

The Audi Innovation Hub this year is an immersive structure designed by Emirati designer and architect Abdulla Almulla, founder of design studio MULA. Consisting of a sweeping steel structure combined with gradient mesh which creates shade, the design of the hub was inspired by the technology of Audi’s e-tron and Almulla’s use of patterns and geometry in setting design guidelines.

Other highlights include a calligraphic study of the word 'friends’ by Austrian furniture makers Bene in collaboration with designer Ibraheem Khamayseh, the installation ‘Green Nexus’ by MAS Paints and UAE Modern which features technology and natural elements focuses on recyclability, and creative installations and edible experiences for all ages in Deliveroo’s pop-up ‘Design, Delivered.'


Exploring cultural aspects of design, architecture and creativity, exhibitions featured at the core of d3 include:

‘Kabul Old City - A Visual Journey’ is a multimedia experience by Turquoise Mountain, using virtual reality technology to digitise endangered cultural heritage sites in 3D.

A showcase of prototypes based on contemporary forms of miniaturisation, DIRes19: Miniaturising Interactive Technologies is a group exhibition bringing faculty and students from the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) together with startups and In5 members.

Staged by local design incubators Tashkeel, ‘Design + Making UAE is’ the destination for emerging design professionals and everyone curious about the local design ecosystem.


An essential part of Dubai Design Week is the opportunity to experience design through a variety of hands-on workshops and in-depth design talks and panel discussions, throughout the week. This year’s highlights include:

Conferences, panels and talks on the DXBDW Main Stage will cover the intersection between language, craft and the future of urban living, held by over 50 thought leaders ranging from international practitioners to regional influencers, including leading figures from Expo 2020 Dubai, the UAE National Pavilion at Venice and ibda design.

The Audi Innovation Talks are taking place across the week, with a programme of conversations exploring the future potential of technology and innovation, whilst The Forum at Downtown Design is offering talks with Tomas Alonso, Christian Louboutin, Greg Natale, Dara Huang and Lina Ghotmeh, offering insights into the evolving design scene. From digital marketing for design entrepreneurs and leadership skills in a creative industry, to design trends for 2021 and how to win clients, this year’s workshops at Downtown Design offer actionable insights to help attendees better navigate their professional sphere.

The inaugural edition of the Dubai Culture Creative Lab consists of a programme of live demos and drop-in activities. Visitors of all ages can explore materials and design processes, each focusing on a specific discipline, including; traditional crafts, ceramics 3D printing and S.T.E.A.M. education.

Returning for its third edition, the Making Space provides the opportunity to participate in instructor-led workshops and experiences through making, including pattern printing, thermoforming, terrarium making and mood board designing, whilst at Re:Urban Studio, Dubai Design Week’s masterclasses will be led by members of the local and international design community with the intention to elevate the skills of professionals and aspiring creatives.


Throughout the festival, the public is invited to enjoy what Dubai Design Week has to offer at d3. The weekend programme features a range of sights, sounds and experiences tailored to anyone and everyone interested in creativity.

Special workshops and activities for children taking place across the weekend including a Designathon for younger generations to come up with innovative solutions to real-world problems.

The Akiba Garden is hosting a series of activities including live street jazz and the Merchant & Makers Market will feature local makers and artisans selling original products.


In addition to the wide range of activations during the 2019 programme at Dubai Design Week’s main hub at d3, a range of events will be taking place across the city, engaging the wider community in Dubai and the UAE. In Al Quoz, Alserkal Avenue is staging the exhibitions ‘Is this Tomorrow’ and ‘Building Bauhaus’. Additionally, exclusive behind the scenes tours with the decision-makers and designers are offered at Al Shindagha Museum throughout the week and the inaugural edition of the Sharjah Architecture Triennial, the first major platform for architecture and urbanism in the region.


Rado Star Prize UAE

The winner of the first edition of the Rado Star Prize UAE will be announced at this year’s Dubai Design Week, with submissions responding to the theme ‘Design with timeless appeal’. Held in various countries before, the established competition offers fledgling designers the opportunity to launch their career on an international stage. The winning project will be on display in the Rado pop-up space in d3 alongside a limited-edition collection paying tribute to the iconic architect and designer Le Corbusier.

Audi Innovation Award

Audi Middle East will announce the fourth winner of the Audi Innovation Award during Dubai Design Week 2019. The first of its kind in the region, the award seeks to empower local designers and inspire innovation by challenging creatives to submit entries, this year responding to the theme ‘Simplification. The winning project will receive $25,000 worth of investment in their concept and prototypes of all the shortlisted designs are presented in the striking Audi Innovation Hub.

- Ends -

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International PR:                                                   

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Download the free Dubai Design Week app to customise your visit based on your interests, navigate the festival with an interactive map and gain complimentary access to the Downtown Design

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General opening hours

11 - 15 November: 10:00 - 22:00

16 November: 10:00 - 17:00

About Dubai Design Week

Dubai Design Week is the region’s largest creative festival, reflecting Dubai’s position as the design capital of the Middle East. The free-to-attend programme is made up of more than 200 events covering design across a range of disciplines including architecture, product design, interiors, multimedia and graphic design. An accessible meeting point for the global design community, Dubai Design Week, staged in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), is a platform for regional design as well as a catalyst for the growth of the creative scene in Dubai. In its 2018 edition, the annual event attracted 75,000 visitors to Dubai Design District (d3) alone. The festival’s varied programme consists of design-related events, exhibitions, installations, competitions, talks and workshops.

Key events include the region’s leading design fair, Downtown Design; Global Grad Show that brings together works from 100 of the most innovative universities across the world; and Abwab, the curated and interactive project containing original design from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

Dubai Design Week programme is owned and managed by the Art Dubai Group and is held under the dedicated patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (DCAA).

For more information, please visit 

About Dubai Design District

Dubai Design District (d3), part of TECOM Group, is a business community dedicated to the art and design industries. In line with Dubai’s position as the leading business hub in the region and beyond, d3 serves as a vibrant innovation hub that enables international brands and a growing number of local designers, creative professionals and artists to unite, create and inspire. Strategically located in the heart of Dubai, d3 is a just short drive away from top leisure and business destinations. 

With state-of-the-art infrastructure designed to meet the needs of the industry and a business-friendly framework, the community provides creative talent with the tools to drive innovation that permeates through various areas of Dubai’s economy, reinforcing Dubai’s status as a UNESCO Creative City of Design.

d3 is a strategic partner to some of the region’s most popular cultural and design events, such as Dubai Design Week, Fashion Forward and Sole DXB, that attract international artists and audiences. d3 also regularly creates a roster of industry talks, workshops and educational programming, accessible to people of all ages.

The Design Quarter at d3 offers visitors the opportunity to discover a variety of design showrooms and art galleries, indulge in authentic dining experiences, and shop at homegrown lifestyle boutiques, fashion ateliers and international design showrooms. In addition, d3 has over 500 creative partners, including architects, interior designers, photography studios, product and fashion designers, and over 45 retail stores and eateries.

For more information, please visit 

About Dubai Culture & Arts Authority

On 8th March 2008, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture). The mandate of the Authority is to serve as a dedicated entity for culture, arts, heritage, and literature in the Emirate of Dubai, and to drive the growth of the city’s artistic and cultural landscape. Dubai Culture focuses on establishing Dubai as a regional and global centre for creativity, and also seeks to enhance the city's cultural identity in order to drive the creative economy. The Authority strives to enhance the quality of life for Dubai residents to help achieve a key pillar of the Dubai Plan 2021 objectives, which is to create a city of happy, creative, and empowered people. In May 2016, Dubai Culture was recognised as the first Happiness Partner to execute the Happiness Agenda in partnership with Smart Dubai. Under this, Dubai Culture will support Smart Dubai to lead a cultural shift in the city, through programmes and projects aimed at building awareness, and influencing individuals, businesses, and city leadership to prioritise happiness.

Under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture, the Authority has played an integral role in reinforcing Dubai’s position as a vibrant global centre for creativity, and in enhancing the city's cultural identity.

As part of its mandate to strengthen the city’s creative fabric by supporting the main disciplines of art – visual arts, performing arts, film, music, and literature, Dubai Culture drives and supports many initiatives in the Emirate’s cultural calendar including Dubai Art Season and SIKKA Art Fair.

Dubai Culture not only recognises talent, but also honours patrons that stand behind the growth of the landscape through awards like Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Awards. Additionally, aligning its focus towards literature, the Authority plays a leading role in supporting the UAE National Strategy for Reading 2026, which was launched in 2016 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Dubai Culture also manages eight Dubai Public Library branches and a strategic initiative was launched in early 2016 to renew all the public libraries, which are prominent centres for promoting culture and knowledge.

For more information, please visit 

About Audi Middle East

The Audi Group, with its brands Audi, Ducati and Lamborghini, is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the premium segment. It is present in more than 100 markets worldwide and produces at 18 locations in 13 countries. 100 percent subsidiaries of AUDI AG include Audi Sport GmbH (Neckarsulm), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy) and Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (Bologna, Italy).

In 2018, the Audi Group delivered to customers about 1.812 million automobiles of the Audi brand, 5,750 sports cars of the Lamborghini brand and 53,004 motorcycles of the Ducati brand. In the 2018 fiscal year, AUDI AG achieved total revenue of €59.2 billion and an operating profit before special items of €4.7 billion. At present, approximately 90,000 people work for the company all over the world, more than 60,000 of them in Germany. Audi focuses on sustainable products and technologies for the future of mobility.

AUDI AG’s commitment to the region was confirmed through the foundation of its fully owned subsidiary in 2005. The current Middle East model range comprises the Audi A3 & S3, A4 and S4, the A5/S5 Coupe Sportback and Cabriolet and RS 5 Coupe and Sportback, the A6, A7, A8, A8 L, the Audi Q3, Q5 & SQ5, Q7 and Q8, the Audi R8 Coupe, R8 Coupe V10 plus as well as the R8 V10 Spyder.

For more information, please visit 

About A.R.M. Holding

A.R.M. Holding is a multi-focused economic enabler that creates synergies and opportunities through local, regional and global investments. At the core of the company’s business strategy is its commitment to social responsibility. A.R.M. actively employs its resources to advance society and empower its players to pursue innovative solutions and inspire a better future.

A.R.M. collaborates with like-minded organizations and leverages its network and partnerships to create meaningful relationships and create growth opportunities. It holds equity stakes in some of Dubai’s foremost companies in a variety of economic sectors including Banking, Telecom, F&B, Property, and Hospitality.

Investing in Real Estate since 1976, A.R.M. has contributed to society with significant investments in numerous industries and versatile projects across the region and internationally.

To learn more about A.R.M. Holding, please visit: 

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