Follow Vogue Arabia

Your Definitive Guide to Dubai Design Week 2018

Courtesy of Dubai Design Week.

The fourth edition of Dubai Design Week opens its doors on Monday at Dubai Design District (d3). Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, this year’s event returns with an even bigger and better programme, featuring exhibits, installations, pop-ups, competitions, and workshops.

Those who are short on time and only have one day to explore the cool, diverse installations and exhibits occupying d3 for the week can check out’s guide on the can’t-miss happenings from 2018 Dubai Design Week here. Scroll down for some more highlights from the six-day event.


UAE Design Stories: The Next Generation from The Emirates
This is curated by Emirati product designer Khalid Shafar, whose aim is to shine a spotlight on the homegrown creative talent from the United Arab Emirates. The eight participating talents include include 2017 DDFC/Vogue Arabia Fashion Prize accessories design finalist Alia bin Omair, interior designers Alia Mazrooei and Roudha Al Shamsi, multidisciplinary designers Aljoud Lootah and Salem Al Mansoori, sculpture artist Azza Al Qubaisi, architect Abdalla Al Mulla, and Bedouin Emirati artist Ahmad Al Areef. For the exhibition, each designer was enlisted to delve into the photographic archives of the UAE’s nomadic roots and interpret their findings into modern-day designs.

Meaning “door” in Arabic, Abwab is returning with an impressive pavilion designed by Architecture + Other Things, using fallen twigs and timber coated in recycled newspaper pulp (last year’s pavilion was constructed out of recycled bed springs) to celebrate design from the region. The theme of this year’s pavilion is “Between the Lines”, and will house designs hailing from Amman, Beirut, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.

From RAK to DRAK
Three designers — 2017 DDFC/Vogue Arabia Fashion Prize winner Faissal El-Malak, Amal Haliq, and Khalid Mezaina —will focus on three commercial outlets from the neighborhood before designing a new and contemporary product. Photographer Ola Allouz will cover all three projects and more of Ras Al Khor’s industrial scenes in her cinematography project, displayed as part of the exhibition at d3.

The Global Grad Show
The curators of the Global Grad Show sifted through 1,000 submissions (double that of last year’s) to bring visitors 150 of the best projects submitted by 100 of the world’s top design and technology universities and emerging programs. Works include a plethora of life-changing inventions by graduates that aim to create solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Emirati product designer Khalid Shafar teamed up with Italian engraving and mirror works atelier Arte Veneziana to launch his latest interior collection. Entitled “Forma”, the range is on display during Dubai Design Week. Forma, which simply translates to form, is a tribute to Emirati culture — in particular, the tradition of wearing egals, which are the woven rope bands used to secure men’s headdresses in place. Shafar deconstructs the egals, stripping them off their original function and instead uses them as a material to create mirrors, screens, chandeliers, and lamps. The result is a juxtaposition of Emirati traditions and unique Italian craftsmanship.

Courtesy of Dubai Design Week.

Downtown Design
Downtown Design is the only platform in the Middle East for the region’s professionals to discover an edited lineup of international design. Returning for the fifth edition of Dubai Design Week, the trade fair will take place at d3. Meanwhile, Downtown Editions, a brand new, curated showcase dedicated to limited-edition design, capsule collections, and designer collaborations is a new and exciting element added to the fair.


Circadian Light Synthesis
This site-specific installation was created by Dubai-based architecture firm Anarchitect, and will feature two pavilions housed at the d3 entrance – one with natural light, and one with artificial light – in an effort to explore the human circadian rhythm’s relationship with light.

In an effort to raise awareness about the rising water levels, Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde has dreamed up Waterlicht, a culmination of LED lights and lenses meant to evoke the impression of a “virtual flood”.

The Mesh
A simple shelter design created by Roudha Alshamshi using traditional crafts like carpet-making and weaving to construct shaded outdoor spaces that function as chill-out spots.

Nestled between buildings 8 and 9, Liz West’s Aglow installation (created in collaboration with women’s fashion label Nemozena) comprises 169 fluorescent-colored acrylic bowls that are arranged on the ground in a hexagonal shape. The installation is meant to explore the different ways that color can directly affect one’s mood.


Third Audi Innovation Award
Now in its third year, The Audi Innovation Award is the first of its kind in the Middle East. Seeking to empower local design talent from the region, the annual competition invited any artist hailing from the GCC and most Levant countries to create a piece around the theme “Connections”. The winner of this year’s award will be announced on Tuesday, at the custom-constructed Audi Innovation Hub situated in D3 and receive a US $25,000 prize. The top three designs will be displayed at the Innovation Hub during the remainder of Design Week.


People Planet Profits
This sustainability-focused conference is presented by UAE Modern, and will feature various activations across the week, including panel discussions and a keynote covering myriad topics.

Re:Urban Studio
This membership-only space is offering access to guests throughout the week through free-for-all masterclasses and workshops led by members of the local and international design community.

Making Space
A pop-up studio, which offers five-days of diverse workshops and children’s activities conducted by a group of UAE-based, regional and international designers and professional creatives. Activities range from sculpting and 3D printing, to weaving and sketching.

The fourth edition of Dubai Design Week is taking place from November 12-17 in d3.

Now Read: How The Louvre Abu Dhabi is Ringing in its One-Year Anniversary

View All
Vogue Collection