Downtown Design returns 13-16 November, 2018

by Editorial Staff

Compasses Magazine

Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Downtown Design returns for its sixth edition from 13-16 November, 2018.

  • The region’s leading design trade fair, Downtown Design will take place from 13-16 November
  • With more than 175 exhibitors, this year’s edition will be the largest to date, expanding in size by 20% following the fair’s rapid growth over the last few years
  • New this year is Downtown Editions; a curated section within the fair, dedicated to bespoke and limited-edition design from all over the world, with a spotlight on the region
  • International experts will share their insight as keynote speakers at The Forum
  • Design weeks from the region will bring some of the best talent to be showcased at Downtown Design
  • Downtown Design is the commercial centrepiece of Dubai Design Week, the region’s largest creative festival

Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Downtown Design returns for its sixth edition from 13-16 November, 2018.

Taking place in its custom-built exhibition space on the d3 Waterfront again this year, in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), the 2018 edition will present a selection of established and emerging exhibitors, comprising over 175 brands, including 40 regional designers.

This November, Downtown Design will be introducing Downtown Editions; a new and curated section within the fair, showcasing limited-edition and bespoke design by individual studios, brands and designers from the Middle East and beyond, for industry and public visitors alike to discover and commission.

Rue Kothari, Fair Director at Downtown Design, says: “Our sixth edition is the most ambitious to date with more than 65 new brands, the inaugural showcase of Downtown Editions and large-scale installations, debuting at the fair. Delivering a unique experience, award-winning architects H+A have master-planned the fair around the theme of ‘Liveable Cities’; new fair features will include bespoke café concepts, a pop-up retail destination, indoor landscapes and activations on the waterfront terrace. This new blueprint coupled with a fresh creative direction will mark a new phase of growth and success for the fair.”

An annual meeting point in one of the world’s most progressive cities and a key event of Dubai Design Week, Downtown Design is the leading platform in the Middle East for the region’s trade professionals and design enthusiasts to discover contemporary design from established global brands as well as regional design talent; this year the fair will unite design weeks from across the region, including Amman, Beirut and Casablanca, bringing some of the Middle East’s brightest design talent to Dubai.

Visitors can obtain their complimentary fast-track entry to the fair by either registering online or downloading the Dubai Design Week app.

2018 Fair Highlights

Key brands including Bernhardt, Bomma, cc-tapis, Herman Miller, Marset, Matteo Brioni, Meridiani, Moroso, and THG Paris will return to present their new ranges at the fair’s biggest showcase to date.

Latest works and collections will be brought to the fair by brands exhibiting for the first time; AlShaya Enterprises, Arper, Artemide, Baxter, Cappelini, Cassina, Diesel Living, Frato, Gandia Blasco, Leyla Uluhanli, Manfredi Style, Normann Copenhagen, Puiforcat, and Villeroy + Boch.

Inspired by the ever-shifting desert dunes, The Foundry by UAE design studio Tinkah will present their ‘Ramel’ collection, using a material consisting of sand and ceramics.

Sharjah-based 1971 Design Space will present a contemporary Arabian pop-up majlis designed by Alia Mazrooei, who took her inspiration by the shapes found in the UAE deserts.

Albal Design Studio will unveil a floating light installation titled ‘Flow’, inspired by the importance of water and the reflection of the sun, in collaboration with Lasvit.

Dubai-based design incubator Tashkeel will unveil the new range of the designer programme Tanween, providing emerging UAE-based designers with the opportunity to develop, produce and retail a range of limited-edition pieces made with materials sourced and manufactured in the UAE.

For the first time, designer Giovanni Barbieri and tile manufacturer Arto will present their handmade 3D mosaic tiles, forming infinitely versatile patterns from square to irregular shapes.

Winner of the Red Dot ‘Best of the Best 2018’ award, the interactive lighting installation ‘Breath of Light’ by Preciosa will make its regional debut at the fair.

New fair features include a multi-functional indoor recreational garden space designed by the UAE-based landscape design studio desert INK, alongside creative pop-up cafes and retail concepts.

For the first time, the fair will activate the outdoor waterfront terrace, where visitors can experience a bespoke creation by sculptor David Harber and a reinterpretation of the renowned installation ‘Le Refuge’ by designer Marc Ange, with the backdrop of Dubai Creek and the city’s skyline.

The talks programme at ‘The Forum’ will present a dynamic series of industry talks and panel discussions, allowing visitors to gain valuable insight into the region’s rapidly evolving design industry, innovation in design and market changes.

Highlights include multifaceted international designer Marc Ange, award-winning designer Ini Archibong and renowned product designer Matthew McCormick, speaking in the Middle East for the first time, whilst celebrity interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard will reflect on why diversity and inclusion are key to the sustained growth of the design economy.

Exploring how design practices can better respond to the unique demands of emerging architecture and design markets are Dara Towhidi, Partner of Foster + Partners, Tariq Khayyat, Head of Middle East at Zaha Hadid Architects and Matthew Utley, Associate Principal at Grimshaw Architects, alongside a series of workshops featuring industry experts and trend analysts.




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, furniture, interiors 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 2017 edition, the annual event attracted 60,000 visitors to Dubai Design District alone. The festival’s varied programme consist of design-related events, exhibitions, installations, competitions, talks and workshops.

The fourth edition of Dubai Design Week takes place 12-17 November 2018. 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 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, Vice Chairman, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.

About Dubai Design District

Dubai Design District (d3), a member of TECOM Group, is a destination dedicated to design that reinforces Dubai’s new status as a UNESCO Creative City of Design. Established to provide a platform for the region’s growing number of designers, creative professionals and artists to unite, create and inspire, d3 has fast become a hub for inspiration and innovation. Located in the heart of Dubai, the thriving neighbourhood is home to emerging designers as well as international brands.

With over 450 creative partners, including architects, interior designers, photography studios, product and fashion designers, d3 also has more than 45 retail stores and eateries. 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.

d3 is also a popular events space that attracts international artists and audiences to cultural exhibitions and gatherings such as Dubai Design Week, Fashion Forward and Sole DXB a regional lifestyle platform for footwear, fashion, culture, art and design. In addition, the destination regularly hosts a roster of industry talks, workshops and educational programming, accessible to people of all ages.

Now open to the d3 community and the district’s visitors, The Block at d3 is a space to escape, relax, unwind and get fit. The recreational facility features a skate park, a basketball and volleyball court, climbing walls, an urban beach, as well as outdoor seating and entertainment areas.

For more information, please visit:

About Dubai Culture & Arts Authority

The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) was launched on March 8, 2008 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in order to drive the growth of the city’s artistic and cultural landscape. The Authority’s vision is to establish Dubai as a global, creative, and sustainable city for culture, heritage, arts and literature, and to empower these sectors to bring happiness to Dubai’s society.

As part of its mandate, Dubai Culture has several initiatives that are focused on strengthening both the historic and modern cultural fabric of Dubai, including Dubai Art Season – the city’s premier umbrella arts initiative which kicks off with Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and encompasses Art Week including Art Dubai, and SIKKA Art Fair- an annual event aimed at promoting Emirati and local artists in the UAE and the wider GCC region, Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre – an annual festival that fosters the art of theatre in the UAE and that is celebrating its 12th anniversary in 2018, and Dubai Next – a dynamic platform that aims to showcase the Emirate’s cultural ethos and its vibrant creative scene on the global stage.

The Authority’s other key initiatives include Creatopia ( – the nation’s first government empowered virtual community that guides and nurtures the creative culture of the nation and provides a platform of information and opportunities that lead to exposure and personal growth.

Dubai Culture also plays a leading role in support of the UAE National Strategy for Reading 2026, in particular by undertaking a major refurbishment of all Dubai Public Libraries branches to transform them into state-of- art cultural and artistic hubs. Across all of its branches, Dubai Public Library also provides children and young adults with a range of educational and entertaining activities that encourage the use of its facilities. The ‘Our Summer is Filled with Culture & Arts Programme’ is a Dubai Public Library initiative which complements the UAE National Reading Strategy, with its activities open to all age groups, and which revolve around four key themes: happiness, reading, family and the future.

The Authority also manages more than 16 heritage sites across the Emirate, and is a key government stakeholder in the development of the Dubai Historical District. As the custodian Authority of Dubai’s museum sector, Dubai Culture officially launched Etihad Museum in December 2016. The museum provides platform to encourage cultural exchange and to connect Emirati youth with their culture and history. As part of the Authority mandate to support Dubai’s vision of becoming the focal point of diverse cultural exchange (regionally & globally), the museums will play a catalyst role in preserving Emirati Heritage.

For more information on Dubai Culture, visit

About Audi

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 16 locations in twelve 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 2017, the Audi Group delivered to customers about 1.878 million automobiles of the Audi brand, 3,815 sports cars of the Lamborghini brand and 55,900 motorcycles of the Ducati brand. In the 2017 fiscal year, AUDI AG achieved total revenue of €60.1 billion and an operating profit of €5.1 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.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related Posts

Join our Monthly Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest updates from Compasses Magazine and get a 40% discount on the annual subscription.