The region’s leading design fair has once again returned to the UAE’s bustling and cosmopolitan metropolis of Dubai.

Its ninth edition has opened today in its purpose-built venue in Dubai Design District (d3) overlooking the Dubai Creek and runs until 12 November.

The fair, Curated in strategic partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), a member of TECOM Group PJSC, and supported by Dubai Culture, aims to support the Dubai economy through its deep connection with the region’s growing and vibrant design community through innovative collaborations with local and international designers, specially commissioned installations and the presentation of some of the world’s leading interior design brands. Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and Member of Dubai Council the fair reflects Dubai’s cosmopolitan spirit and vision with an emphasis on commercial opportunities and cross-cultural exchange and dialogue. The fair is the commercial highlight event of Dubai Design Week, which runs until 13 November.

This year’s fair presents over 200 brands, manufacturers, and designers from over 30 countries, including national presentations from France, Italy, and Spain, complemented by extensive collateral activations. Leading international brands exhibiting include Poliform by Obegi Home from Italy; Natuzzi, a world leader in upholstered leather furniture and Lasvit, featuring bespoke pieces, in collaboration with globally renowned duo Yabu Pushelberg; Jaipur Rugs, who have launched their new range of colourful, eccentric handmade rugs and RSP, a global multidisciplinary design group, who have partnered with Cosentino, a leading architectural surfaces brand to create KASA, a bold installation that alludes to the need for environmentally-friendly design.

Other key names at this year’s fair include Joe Armitage, making his debut at an international show by participating in Downtown Design, presenting a collection of lamps inspired by the original designs by his grandfather in 1952; Studio Nada Debs, marking its 20-year anniversary with a showcase in celebration of craftsmanship; the brand launch of Jwana Hamdan, presented by Purity; an innovative workspace design concept under the creative direction of Patricia Urquiola, presented by Haworth and featuring brands such as Cappellini, Poltrona Frau and BuzziSpace.

Key highlights of the fair this year include The Forum, supported by Artico, which features high-profile international speakers including multi-award-winning interior designer Kelly Hoppen CBE and Lebanese architect, designer and musician Carl Gerges, among others.

There is a strong interactive and experiential component of works this year, particularly among the large-scale installations. Immersive features include an interactive new-media installation Control No Control by Canadian Studio Iregular, supported by Kohler and a large-scale entrance concept IOTA by Lebanese design duo Karim Tamerji and Elias El Hage, supported by House of Today.

While Downtown Design has always featured a strong international presence of designers, it is cemented in design and creativity from the Middle East region. This is particularly evident in the Downtown Editions section showcasing works from galleries, design studios and collectives from around the region with a particular emphasis on handcrafted and sustainable design.

The section, this year showcases works by creatives from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Uganda. Key exhibitors include: Lebanon’s renowned non-profit gallery House of Today, showcasing works by Stephanie Moussallem and Roula Salamoun, among others, while Dubai-based gallery Collectional presents pieces by Apparatus Studio, Collection Particuliere and Michael Anastassiades. Parisian Anne Jacquemin Sablon Galerie has presented pieces by Tristan Auer. Klekktic has unveiled a new collection of bespoke, high-end furniture and The Line Concept, specializing in custom-made furniture, has displayed its latest collection. UAE-based Khawla Art and Culture Foundation presented a selection of local artists’ interpretations of a functional vase and the selected UAE-based designers of the Tanween Programme 2022 by Tashkeel showcased the products resulting in their exploration of the theme of sustainability.