By Tajudeen Sowole
Coinciding with Art Week of UAE, the fifth edition of Design Days Dubai, which holds from March 14 – 18, 2016 at Downtown Dubai asserts its strength as world's most diverse gathering.
Owned and managed by Art Dubai Group, the yearly event, which is described as the Middle East and South Asia’s collectible design fair, presents limited edition of modern and contemporary design pieces from the world’s established and emerging galleries and design artists. A statement from the organisers says that in addition to the exhibitions, the fifth edition of Design Days Dubai also features special projects, talks, workshops and guided tours allowing visitors to discover, engage with and acquire the works on display.
“For the upcoming edition, we keep the diversity of the design creations as one of our main features," said Cyril Zammit, Director of Design Days Dubai. "Reflecting Dubai’s unique position as a global meeting point, Design Days Dubai showcases design from around the world, in addition to design from the region. We have a unique format, which positions young emerging galleries alongside the renowned, providing a first-time opportunity to exhibit at an international level; and for design enthusiasts, the opportunity to meet designers from all over the world and acquire collectible design not seen anywhere else.”
Also known as world’s most diverse design fair, Design Days Dubai welcomes yearly returning galleries, Carpenters Workshop Gallery (UK/France/USA), Victor Hunt designArt Dealers (Belgium), Art Factum (Lebanon) and Gallery S. Bensimon (France) and newcomers J.C.T Haute Couture Interiors (France), Camp Design Gallery (Italy), Barcelona Design Gallery (Spain) and Dutch Creative Industry (The Netherlands).
Though traditionally promoting works of the Middle Eastern design industry, the event appears to have grown to include galleries from other regions. Exhibitors include the first participation of Monogram and M.A.D Gallery (both Dubai), Samovar and Loulwa Al-Radwan (both Kuwait), Vick Vanlian and Georges Amatoury Studio (both Lebanon), Kalo (UAE) and Aisha Al-Sowaidi (Qatar). 1971 Design Space, Aljoud Lootah, Cities, Fatima bint Mohamed bin Zayed Initiative, Fadi Sarriedine, Nakkash Gallery, Shamsa Alabbar and Tashkeel, all based in the Emirates, along with Coalesce (Pakistan), Naqsh Collective (Jordan) and Squad Design (Lebanon).
Other highlights of the 2016 programme will include an exhibition of design from the UAE, ‘WASL, celebrating Design Days Dubai’s 5-year legacy and commitment to supporting and nurturing local and regional design talent; whilst initiatives in partnership with he fourth edition of Van Cleef & Arpel’s Middle East Emergent Designer Prize), art and design organisaton Tashkeel (the third season of Tashkeel’s successful design programme), Dubai Culture and d3 (Urban Commissions competition) focus on a brand new generation of UAE- based designers.
Since its 2012 launch, the fair has been enjoying the supports of what the organisers described as its "strategic partnership with Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the Emirate’s dedicate Authority for culture, arts and heritage; French high-jewellery Maison Van Cleef & Arpels, Audi and Emaar."
Art Week of Dubai is a focal point of the region’s cultural calendar and attracts many tourists and residents, thus helping to sustain and develop the region’s arts industry by actively building audiences and patrons. Art Week also provides educational opportunities for young Emiratis and locally- based graduates—building expertise for the future.