dubai design week: the 2016 dubai design week, which runs from the 24th to 29th october, is set to be the largest showcase of regional design talent in the middle east. impressively 223 designers, out of the 564 that are participating, are from 15 countries in the MENASA region (the middle east, north africa and south asia area), and an unprecedented 73 of those are UAE-based. these numbers highlight dubai’s aim of further establishing itself as a global design center, acting as a commercial gateway into the middle east and providing vast opportunities for creatives.


continuing designboom’s preview coverage of the 2016 dubai design week, which encompasses over 100 different events, we take a closer look at some of those that features regional design promise. as part of this, we explore; the ‘iconic city: cairo now! city incomplete’ exhibition, downtown design program, abwab, the global grad show, and seven installations that will feature across the city.

the NM collection’s ‘rue’ console will be presented at the downtown design event




‘many of this year’s events – the large number of workshops, talks, competitions – really point to a community that has an appetite for learning and is knowledge hungry,’ says rawan kashkoush, head of programming at dubai design week. ‘it’s a community developing steadily and ready to show what it’s capable of — during the 6 days of design week and beyond.’

the products at the ‘iconic city: cairo now! city incomplete’ reflect the powerful imagery of the city




following the ‘brilliant beriut’ exhibition at the 2015 dubai design week, ‘iconic city: cairo now! city incomplete’ reflects the current status quo of the egyptian capital, following the theme of incompleteness. the show, curated by mohamed elshahed, brings together the work of 65 of the country’s creatives, with many of whom debuting their designs to the public for the very first time. screening the capital’s disjointed transport system, partially restored historic buildings and half-finished satellite cities, the show aims to present the unrealized potential of the generation of designers that currently live there.

the ‘lighting wheel’ by mohamed nabil for the cairo exhibition




as a centerpiece of the dubai design week and the dubai design district (d3), the downtown design presents the work of a record 13 different regional brands. the show, which runs from the 25th to 28th october, exhibits a balanced mixture of iconic design that has been influenced with emerging ideas from best-in-class creatives. regional brands included in this year’s show include: apical reform (india), beba creations (UAE), cecilia setterdahl (UAE), etqaan (egypt), green road (UAE), hands (India), pallavi dean (UAE), NM collection (UAE), muriel kai (lebanon), klove (india), paola sakr (lebanon), samovar carpets (kuwait) and tamara barrage (lebanon).

the ‘takki w hakki’ by think tank co




the greatly anticipated return of the abwab program, named after the arabic word for doors, exclusively and devotedly explores the design scenes of countries from the MENASA region. with the theme of ‘the human senses’, it will showcase the responses of graphic designers, product designers, photographers and architects from algeria, bahrain, india, iraq, palestine and the UAE. each individual nation will present their own country-specific interpretation of the idea, hoping to create a selection of culturally diverse projects.

each camel saddle swing also has a matching headset that plays out traditional samry songs




the 2016 global grad show, as previewed here on designboom, will showcase 145 design solutions for many of the world’s most pressing issues and promotes the good for humanity. as another record feat, 11 student designers from eight universities within the MENASA region, will be participating and exhibiting their work. schools included in this group are; german university in cairo (egypt), king abdullah university of science and technology (saudi arabia), american university in dubai (UAE),  VCU qatar, NYU abu dhabi (UAE),  american university of sharjah (UAE), middle east technical university (turkey) and srishti institute (india).

the ‘hexalite’ by zeinab al hashemi for swarovski
grass hopper for swarovski




as an integral part of the 2016 dubai design week, several installations by regional designers will feature across the city, with one by hani abyad of studio mr white, and yusuke murakami and tangent, being a series of projections that will be beamed onto the world’s tallest tower – the burj khalifa. in similar fields, the ‘#EMO_DCI’ by maja kozel, teun verbeek and juliette wermenbol, is an installation that focuses on the experience of mixing sound, scent and imagery. in d3 as well as ‘#EMO_DCI’, talin hazbar and latifa saeed’s ‘left impression’ presents a seating environment that creates a focal point for creative communities to gather.

its 33 structures reveal a shimmering geometric mirage
grass hopper for swarovski




continuing the preview of the regionally-designed installations that will be spread out across the city of dubai, the ‘takki w hakki’ by think tank co, is an interactive piece that evokes nostalgia through swinging saddle seats.  another exhibit called ‘hexalite’ by zeinab al hashemi, which was commissioned by swarovski, creates an infinite series of kaleidoscopic views through crystals and a hexagonal mirrored steel structure.  finally, the ‘through the lens’ window installations at galeries lafayette by amer al dour, bahr bahr, anjali srinivasan, and emanuela corti & ivan parati, creates unique displays of transformations.

‘through the lens’ window installations at galeries lafayette




make sure to follow designboom’s coverage of the 2016 dubai design week, which runs from 24th to 29th october, and its many events, talks and product presentations.

the transforming displays present the work of interior, fashion and urban design


the ‘left impression’ exhibit by talin hazbar and latifa saeed