Design professionals and enthusiasts are in for an event not to be missed this year. Downtown Design is a high-end design event that brings to the region an exclusive selection of internationally renowned interior design products and concepts. In its first year, the exhibition will take place from October 29th till November 1st, 2013, in Downtown Dubai.
The visionary team behind Art Dubai and Design Days Dubai, two of the Middle East’s most successful art, furniture and objects fairs, is set to launch its first international design trade fair, Downtown Design. The show will be held at the custom-built location, ‘The Venue, Downtown Dubai,’ at the base of Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building, which anchors Emaar’s thriving lifestyle destination, Downtown Dubai, billed as ‘The Centre of Now’ – located on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard. The inaugural edition of the show will be held from 29th October to 1st November 2013.
Downtown Design will, for the first time in the Middle East, bring together a selection of international design brands renowned for their quality products and focus on manufacturing craftsmanship. The event is geared specifically towards industry professionals including architects, real estate developers, interior designers and professional specifiers from across the Middle East and North Africa.
Featuring the very best in furniture, lighting, accessories, flooring, textiles and new technologies, Downtown Design is set to become one of the region’s premier design events. Emphasising quality, innovation and research, the show will seek to highlight contemporary – yet timeless – values in a creative atmosphere to an audience keen to understand design. Only a limited number of brands have been admitted as exhibitors and will showcase their collections. New emerging brands with a strong brand philosophy and a focus on quality manufacturing processes will be mixed with the most internationally renowned companies. Downtown Design is the new destination for these brands to come together and help shape the future of the region design’s industry.
The announcement of Downtown Design follows weeks after His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, issued a decree to establish the Dubai Council for Design and Fashion, as part of a series of initiatives aimed at supporting local design talent and promoting creativity across the region. The Emirate is also set to become home to a dedicated design and fashion hub, Dubai Design District in Business Bay.
Speaking about the launch of Downtown Design, Cristina Romelli Gervasoni, Fair Director, said: “With the significant developments and initiatives being made to support Dubai’s burgeoning art and design scene together with the Emirate’s ever-growing real estate and construction industry, Downtown Design is set to become a leading platform for international brands to showcase their products in a rapidly growing market. The industry professional event will also play a key role in establishing the Emirate’s reputation as a global destination for design; complementing the international calendar of design events in other global cities including London, New York, Milan, Paris, Basel, Cologne and Miami.”
Confirmed exhibitors include some of Italy’s leading furniture makers Poltrona Frau, Cassina and Cappellini as well as the timeless US chair manufacturers Emeco and contemporary Turkish design brand Gaia & Gino. The Temporary Museum of Milan, one of the cornerstones of Milan’s famous furniture fair Salone del Mobile, will present a special exhibition curated by the Creative Director and CEO of the Superstudio Group, Gisella Borioli, and Giulio Capellini.
In addition to the wide range of international designers, some of the region’s most exclusive design companies will also use the show as an opportunity to showcase their products alongside their international peers. The environmentally-friendly Abu Dhabi firm Al Khaznah Tannery will be presenting its new specially commissioned camel leather furniture, which has been attracting interest from a host of international designers keen to explore new materials.
In addition to the trade fair, Downtown Design will also feature an extensive programme of inspirational seminars, face-to-face meetings and special events, to bring together the design brands participating and key regional decision-makers to offer greater insight into market trends in the MENA region and ways to drive business. Guest speakers will include Italian designers Palomba and Serafini.
Commenting on their participation in the inaugural Downtown Design, Gianni Sharrouf of PF Emirates who distribute Poltrona Frau, Cappellini and Cassina says: “We’ve always deeply believed that we need to help shape the design landscape in the UAE. This started in Abu Dhabi and is now continuing in Dubai. Participating in the first edition at Downtown Design is a continuation of our presence in Design Days Dubai in the last 2 years and is a sign of commitment to the design community in Dubai.”
Gaye Cevikel, founder of the luxury Turkish interior accessories brand Gaia & Gino, added: “Downtown Design is the first fair we are participating in Dubai, and this year the Middle East is getting more important for GAIA&GINO and Verreum, as there are many design shops and galleries are opening in the region. We believe that Downtown Design will be very successful as it is the first of its kind in this area.”
The four-day event, which will be free for trade visitors and industry professionals between 12pm and 6pm daily, will also be open to members of the public from 6pm to 8pm on 29-31st October and 12pm-6pm on Friday 1st November.
More information about Downtown Design can be found at www.downtowndesign.com, and online registration is now open for trade visitors.