Among the hundreds of activities taking place at Dubai Design Week for the next six days, don’t miss the highlights which will fill your weekend with creativity.

Seeing Dubai Design Week’s return to Dubai Design District (d3) it is easy to stand in awe of the endless possibilities proffered by innovative and sustainable design, workshops, markets and to just amble for mere pleasure.

On a stroll around d3, don’t miss several key installations that reflect Design with Impact, this year’s theme that displays responsible design that champions respect for the environment and human wellness. Standout works here include OBMI’s ‘Once Upon a Forest’, an elegant installation reflective of the UAE’s natural landscape replete with mangroves seen through the pavilion’s floating canopy where visitors are immersed in an exploration of the country’s native ecosystem prompting ideas of protection and regeneration in the future; Stella McCartney’s ‘Future of Fashion’, an installation in the form of an infinite loop that resonates with the natural and urban landscape with the aim of creating a space of great beauty made from wastewater, byproducts such as fertilizer, plants and self-sustaining materials; Bokja, who is presenting a contemplative installation in the form of a boxing ring, prompting spectators to stop, watch and ponder some of the most pressing questions today; and Sara Alrayyes’ ‘Al Gargoor’ which takes its inspiration from the Gulf’s traditional fishing nets, repurposing and upcycling them to find alternatives that can be used to both preserve an aspect of local heritage and built contemporary design elements.

Five fascinating exhibitions taking place as part of Dubai Design Week, also line the stylish destination. These include “Matter-ials'', a series of indoor installations taking visitors through the theme of Design with Impact; “Designing Women” featuring an immersive multi-media exhibition featuring works by female designers; “Design in the Metaverse” where technology takes centre stage in design and architectural creations; also see the “UAE Designer Exhibition” a much-anticipated exhibition curated by Cyril Zammit, featuring works by established and emerging regional talent working in various disciplines, with the space of the structure designed by Emirati architecture duo Studio D.04; and lastly, the third edition of the “d3 Architecture exhibition”, showcasing eight architectural works which highlight the role of sustainable materials to create innovative design with the theme Design with Impact central to all works, thus striving to collaborate positively with the natural environment.

For those wishing to engage in a hands-on experience, learning practical skills and honing creative prowess, there are various workshops to engage in. These include introductions for budding designers and practice for those already in the disciplines of graphic design, fashion, architecture, filmmaking and sculpture printmaking, portfolio perfecting, and sustainable material design. Those of note are ‘A moment for metal’ offering children's metal casting with Studiyolab and metal stamping for adults with Noura Alserkal; courses on ceramics where guests create on the wheel, glaze, carve and more; Preserving traditions and textiles through Tatreez’ with 81 Designs and a workshop on Japanese sewing technique called ‘Boro’ and ‘Sashiko’ with Glitches & Stitches, a Dubai-based studio run by artist, designer and cultural workshop facilitator Natalya Konforti. Last but not least, a course on filmmaking with Samer Arzouni and Lina Younes will take stage, as will the workshop on Fabricating Fruit Leather with Studio Bor.

Some visitors will just want to take the opportunity to shop for local and international handmade, ethically produced design pieces, trinkets, fashion and beauty products and food. There’s no better place to do this than the Design Market by FLTRD. From regional fragrance brands like Anfasic Dokhoon, where you can buy oils and perfumes, to contemporary and locally made candles from Altawleh. The authentic Bound No. 82 focuses on and ethically-made home décor, while UAE-based La Takhaf Ceramics, is a ceramic label by Dubai-based artist Lourdy Ghorayeb, Elluna Organic Beauty produces vegan-friendly products and with eco-friendly fashion brands like FOUX, Flipped and J | R Ethical Fashion the list is endless. This is a market, like Dubai Design Week that champions creativity, sustainability, locally produced and authentic creations.