The region’s most important creative festival concluded its seventh and most comprehensive edition on Saturday, reaffirming Dubai’s role as an important hub for design and creativity for the region and beyond.

With its most extensive programme to date, Dubai Design Week saw over 260 activities and events at its hub in Dubai Design District (d3), presenting a line-up of installations, exhibitions, pop-ups, talks and workshops.

Downtown Design, the region’s leading design fair for high-end and quality design, returned in a physical format this year after an online-only iteration last year, featuring more than 150 exhibiting brands and designers. International brands presenting at this year’s edition of Downtown Design included Grohe from Germany, Lasvit from Czech Republic, and Lladró from Spain, while brands hailing from across the region ranged from George Geara Design from Lebanon and Custom No. 9 from the UAE, to Dania Douaidari from Syria.

The fair also hosted The Beirut Concept Store which presented works by 50 established designers and emerging creatives based in Lebanon in a showcase curated by Mariana Wehbe, as well as the second iteration of the UAE Designer Exhibition, which unveiled works of 31 designers based and producing in the UAE.

The globally significant heritage and geological destination AlUla, presented an immersive exhibition featuring Jean Nouvel, the Pritzker-prize-winning French architect, who shared the design philosophies and principles that are guiding the transformation of AlUla with participants at Dubai Design Week.

Established as part of the Global Grad Show platform, the second edition of MENA Grad Show presented 60 ideas and solutions by 78 students from 29 universities across 10 countries from the MENA region, from a solar powered robot built to plant seeds in desert areas to an app that organizes the routine of dementia patients, and magnetic skin to allow people with quadriplegia to control their surroundings.

Supported by A.R.M. Holding, the seventh edition of Urban Commissions was unveiled at Dubai Design Week, showcasing an innovative public installation by Beirut-based architectural firm, Bits to Atoms. Titled ‘Yowalah’, the winning proposal is an inclusive and inter-generational public space, designed to undo social disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second edition of the Marketplace returned this year with 50+ new participants and a curated selection of artisanal Lebanese delicacies and ceramics, mouth blown glass. and unique hand-crafted designs, to support designers and producers working in Beirut.

Bringing people together throughout the week, the Making Space hosted a programme of more than 80 workshops for visitors of all ages, under the theme of ‘Paper, Plastic + Play’.