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Everything You Can Expect at the 2019 Dubai Design Week

Abwab2019_KSA_Dubai Design week

The Abwab exhibition. Photo: Courtesy of Dubai Design Week

The Middle East‘s biggest creative festival is returning with its fifth edition to Dubai Design District from November 11 to 16. This time around, Dubai Design Week will deliver more than 200 UAE-inspired events that aim to highlight regional talent.

The week-long festival aims to cover every inch of the design world, from architecture and products to interiors and multimedia. The attendees will be offered an exclusive chance to connect and interact with the diverse crowd of creative experts, who are set to provide new insights and challenge perspectives.

In hopes to develop the region’s creative dialogue, the Dubai Design Week was initiated under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. In 2018, the free-for-all program received an overwhelming response of 75,000 visitors, who attended of design-related events, exhibitions, installations, competitions, talks, and workshops.

This year’s event will feature the inaugural edition of the Sharjah Architecture Triennial, a space dedicated to architecture and urbanism combined with the region’s heritage.

Apart from the Triennial, here are the must-visit exhibitions during the region’s largest creative platform.


Abwab2019_KSA_Dubai Design week

The Abwab exhibition. Photo: Courtesy of Dubai Design Week

Bringing creative minds together, Abwab – translated as ‘doors’ in Arabic – commissions innovative work from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. The exhibition promotes cultural exchange and stimulates significant conversations through the dialogue of design.

This year’s installation features “Qissa Ghar” meaning ‘Home of Stories’ by Mumbai-based Busride Design Studio, who focuses on ancient Indian myths; “WAL(L)TZ” by Lebanese-Polish sisters Tessa Sakhi and Tara Sakhi, who will represent political barriers in the society through an interactive journey; and Shahad Alazzaz founder of Azaz Architects, who partnered with local craftsmen to establish different types of textiles – each representing a process and story.

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Downtown Design

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Aljoud Lootah objects at the Downtown Design exhibit. Photo: Courtesy of Dubai Design Week

From November 12 to 15, a dynamic showcase titled “Downtown Design,” will host limited edition creations by renowned designers from the Middle East. Explore marble lights by Kuwaiti Meshary AlNassar, the 2019 cohort of Tanween designers by UAE-baed Tashkeel, modern and traditional crafts by Sharjah-based Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, or Emirati-themed objects by Aljoud Lootah as well as Hajar Abdallah.

Madar and Insight/Onsite by Ghassan Salameh 

With Dubai Design Week being the region’s biggest creative festival, it only makes sense to get the best names for inspiration. The fifth edition will welcome guest curator Ghassan Salameh, who founded his design studio in Beirut in 2014. The Ghassan Salameh Studio’s creations have reached international platforms, including design festivals in Venice, Milan, London, and Berlin.

This year, Salameh launches two exhibitions, an educational installation “Madar,” and a product-focused showcase “Insight/Onsight.” Visitors will gain new knowledge about emerging movements and initiatives at “Madar,” while at “Insight/Onsight,” they can view trending creations from local and regional designers. 

Audi Innovation Hub by Abdalla Almulla

Calling all car enthusiasts, Audi is here with its installation at Dubai Design Week. The 2019 innovation hub will be created by Emirati designer and architect Abdulla AlMulla, founder of ‘MULA’ design studio. Inspired by Audi’s “e-Tron,” the space will echo AlMulla’s geometric style along with a steel structure and a gradient mesh.

“Kabul Old City – A Visual Journey,” by Turquoise Mountain

Turqouise mountain, Dubai Design Week

The “Kabul Old City – A Visual Journey” by Turquoise Mountain. Photo: Courtesy of Dubai Design Week

An independent organization, the Turquoise Mountain, will present their engaging exhibit titled “Kabul Old City – A Visual Journey,” in partnership with ICONEM. The one-of-a-kind showcase aims to raise awareness and protect a community at risk, while primarily highlighting historical sites and artifacts. Through virtual reality, attendees can visit cultural places in Afghanistan, which are now endangered. 

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