Dubai Design Week 2021 opened today with a varied line-up of over 260 activities taking place at the festival’s main hub in d3 and around the city.

Bringing its most extensive and diverse programme of events to date, the festival returns with 430 UAE-based designers and 560 companies participating in a range of activities, from engaging exhibitions, pop-ups and installations to talks, masterclasses and hands-on workshops, accessible for visitors of all ages and levels of skill.

“This seventh edition of Dubai Design Week, will see the design industry’s most influential creatives from around the world converge in our city for the region’s most important creative festival. Not only has the design fair become a key element in the region’s cultural and creative industries agenda, but its rich programme also showcases and engages both the industry and the wider public in a fun, thought-provoking, and accessible way,” said Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

Programme highlights at this year’s edition include Downtown Design, from 8 – 12 November, which is showcasing more than 150 international and regional exhibiting brands and designers from over 20 countries, complemented by extensive collateral activations including a stellar talks programme featuring global industry experts.

We are thrilled to be opening this important edition of Dubai Design Week, at a time when the need for, and the impact of impactful design is becoming increasingly crucial to address the serious global issues that we and the planet currently face,” said Mette Degn-Christensen, Director of Dubai Design Week.

“We also wanted to ensure that this edition put people and activities at the centre of the festival in d3 to actively engage visitors, and are proud to present our most extensive line-up of events and activities to date.”

Showcasing social impact innovation projects in the fields of science, design, technology and architecture by students from universities in the region, MENA Grad Show returns in its second edition, featuring 60 ideas and solutions by 78 students from 29 universities across 10 countries from the region.

Installation not to be missed include the Abwab 2021 commission by Dubai-based architect Ahmed El-Sharabassy titled ‘Nature in Motion’, the Urban Commissions winning concept, supported by A.R.M. Holding, presenting an interactive urban intervention titled ‘Yowalah’ by Beirut-based architecture and research firm, Bits to Atoms, ‘The Shape of Light’ by conceptual art studio Shuster + Moseley, which explores the geometric prismatic forms through a large-scale installation aiming to safely reinstate social relations and increase the levels of happiness for users.

Collaborating with emerging Emirati creative Hessa Al Suwaidi, Bentley Motors is presenting ‘Safeefa’, a creative concept drawing from an integral part of traditional Emirati weaving and the Bentley brand’s design and craftsmanship.

With an extensive range of pop-ups and exhibitions this year, the festival is presenting AlUla Design, an immersive experience designed by Gio Forma and Black Engineering, and inspired by the extraordinary rock formations in the region’s desert and mountain landscapes. Meanwhile, Ceramatastic will feature a wide range of works made in the UAE, while visitors can enjoy other exhbitions such as Design Your Future!’, a collaboration between L’Institut Français of the UAE and Cité Internationale du Design as well as a pop-up showcase by the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) titled ‘One Grain at a Time’.

Visitors can also explore the Making Space, a programme of more than 80 workshops held under the theme of ‘Paper, Plastic + Play’, for all ages and levels of experience, or attend a talk at Meet the UAE Creatives, which brings the local creative community and its stakeholders together in a series of engaging dialogues.

For the full programme download the free Dubai Design Week 2021 app here.