Located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, Dubai (pop. 2.7 million) is a cosmopolite city and the business hub of the Middle East. First city in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai has long asserted its role as the country's economic driver and technological hub. In transiting from an oil-based industry, Dubai aims to reinvent itself by harnessing creativity and innovation to develop a strong creativity-led economy. The city is engaged to build a comprehensive strategy through a systemic approach that fully acknowledges and values design, innovation and creativity, not only for economic growth, but also for social progress and urban quality of life enhancement.
Dubai has been facilitating the development of design through a wide range of events and festivals. The leading fair in the Middle East and South Asia, Downtown Design features Downtown Editions, which is dedicated to collectible and limited edition furniture design. International designers and gallerists take part to the event, providing many opportunities for Dubai's emerging design studios and young professionals. The Dubai Design Week also aims to shed the spotlight on Dubai's design community, covering multiple disciplines ranging from graphic design to urban architecture and industrial design.
Committed to place design and creativity at the heart of its policies, the Dubai Government completed the Dubai Design District (D3). The project aims to meet the needs amongst design practitioners, creative professionals and artists of the region, to formalise dedicated infrastructures supporting design and the cultural ecosystem as a whole. The D3 project plans to establish 500 creative enterprises, generating 10,000 new jobs. This initiative is part of the Dubai Design & Innovation Blueprint masterplan, built through strong partnership between the government, the private sector and institutional stakeholders, to leverage the city's creative potential.
As a Creative City of Design, Dubai envisages:
- establishing the Dubai Design and Innovation Academy, a life-long learning project aimed at preparing the future workforce in the field of design, innovation and cross-cutting approaches, by notably involving other members of the UCCN;
- encouraging cross-sectorial collaborations through workshop programmes initiated by the Dubai National Design Innovation Centre;
- using design to engage with the elderly population to address their needs and concerns through public service innovation; and
- involving Creative Cities of Design in Dubai's programmes and events, including the Dubai International Design Innovation Festival.