The Third Edition of Dubai Design Week Closes With a Record-Number of 60,000 Visitors

Press release
Published November 23rd, 2017 - 09:16 GMT
Providing an exceptional educational opportunity, 3,200 students from schools and universities across the UAE took part in the educational tours at Dubai Design Week 2017.
Providing an exceptional educational opportunity, 3,200 students from schools and universities across the UAE took part in the educational tours at Dubai Design Week 2017.

Dubai Design Week 2017 staged over 200 events celebrating design in a wide range of disciplines and brought 60,000 visitors to the Dubai Design District (d3), an impressive 50% increase from last year, further establishing Dubai’s position as a regional hub for design and creativity. Throughout Dubai, designers showcased ground-breaking design, hosted talks and workshops and welcomed visitors into the creative process. Providing an exceptional educational opportunity, 3,200 students from schools and universities across the UAE took part in the educational tours at Dubai Design Week 2017.

Benedict Floyd, CEO and Co-Founder of Art Dubai Group that owns and manages Dubai Design Week, says: “In only three editions, Dubai Design Week has grown to equal in stature its sister event Art Week and plays a similar role in establishing Dubai as the region’s capital for culture and creativity.  Through our events such as Art Dubai, the world’s most globally diverse art fair and Global Grad Show, the world’s largest gathering of universities, we are able to leverage Dubai’s position to create unique events that have become meeting points for the world’s creative community”

d3’s Chief Executive Officer, Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, says: “We’re very pleased with the incredible response to Dubai Design Week, hosted by d3 again this year, which witnessed a significant increase in visitors from last year. The collaborations between organisations and independent designers, including more than 50 d3 creative partners and retailers, present an extraordinary calibre of creativity

and innovation in various sectors of design. This has not only boosted Dubai’s role as an arbiter of cutting-edge design, but also helped emerging regional designers, thinkers and design students bring forth their ideas to a much larger audience.”


Celebrating its fifth edition, the Middle East’s leading design fair, staged its largest edition to date, attracting 15,000 visitors, an increase of 25% from last year. Taking place at the d3 Waterfront, Downtown Design is the regional meeting point for the design industry and a platform to explore the latest trends in contemporary design. With 150 exhibitors, 72 of which are new to the event and the region, the fair has grown 350 % since its inauguration.


With over 200 projects from 92 of the best universities, Global Grad Show is the world’s largest gathering of universities that presented innovative design solutions to improve our lives. This year, the show inaugurated the Progress Prize; selected by a global jury chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the winning design was awarded to graduates of the School of Form in Poland.


World leading architect Sir David Adjaye opened the week to a packed house, and was followed by 92 talks and workshops held by international and regional experts and leading institutions such as the Royal College of Art. The successful debut of Meraas’s ‘Making Space’, welcomed over 3.000 visitors with activities run by a number of partners including Tashkeel and Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children.


14 exhibitions and installations were commissioned   with a focus on local and regional talent. Designers took part in producing new content that included work by Emirati designers Aljoud Lootah, Lujaine Rezk and Khalid Shafarand the stand-out exhibition of the year Abwab displayed a selection of the best work from 47 designers from the region. 

William Knight, Head of Design at the Art Dubai Group said: ‘It has been an outstanding Dubai Design Week, which has made a positive impact on everyone that visited events and the city. The event demonstrated the creativity and commitment of Dubai’s creative community and its supporters. In particular we’d like thank Dubai Design Week sponsors and partners including d3, Meraas, Audi Middle East, PepsiCo, Rado, Swarovski, IKEA, the Royal College of Art, Uber and Hills Advertising’. 

Background Information

Dubai Design Week

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. Dubai Design Week is the largest creative festival in the Middle East, reflecting Dubai’s position as the regional capital of design. The six-day programme is made up of events covering a range of design disciplines including architecture, product, furniture, interior and graphic design, the majority of which are free to attend and accessible for both industry and public.

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