Returning with an expanded 2023 programme, the region’s largest creative festival will take place in Dubai Design District (d3) between 7-12 November, with more than 500 participants taking part from over 40 countries.

The free-to-attend umbrella event of the week will host its most diverse programme of events and activities, including exhibitions, new commissions, pop-ups, talks, workshops, as well as other innovative design projects and experiences. 

Alongside Downtown Design, the highlight event of Dubai Design Week, a key feature of this year’s programme will be large-scale outdoor installations with a focus on how design, science and technology can converge to reclaim materials of our past, as well as reimagine new forms that foster sustainable practices with immersive public interventions made from materials.

More than 20 outdoor installations and architectural projects will be staged throughout d3: From a 3-D-printed architectural pavilion made from biodegradable sugar-based PLA and eco-cooling walls made entirely from loofah to a paper pulp modular system or a prototype of a traditional structural shelter, using sustainable cement alternatives.

Returning to the festival this year, Abwab, the headline commission has been awarded to Emirati architect and founder of MULA design studio, Abdalla Almulla, who will create an architectural pavilion centered around sustainability and materiality, which will include a roster of interventions and performances. Dubai Design Week’s design competition, Urban Commissions, also returns this year with a winning project selected by a jury panel consisting of experts in the design field: Ahmad Bukhash, Robert Shakespeare and Cyril Zammit, to be unveiled at the festival in d3.

Natasha Carella, Programming Director for Dubai Design Week 2023, commented: “Building on the UAE’s Year of Sustainability, this year’s festival has evolved into the most innovative edition of the festival to date. In strategic partnership with d3, our programme has been developed  for both the design community and the general public alike.  We aim to foster a dialogue around sustainability through engaging and thought provoking initiatives and focus attention on how different practices can converge to look at sustainability, which we see as pivotal for the future of the design industry.”

A series of exhibitions will showcase the latest in design from the region and beyond, throughout the week, including: an Arabic poster exhibition, documenting the Arab world’s visual culture, and a showcase of projects that explore sustainability, design and emerging technologies staged by The Royal College of Art in London.

A line-up of workshops and masterclasses throughout the week will provide visitors of all ages a level of design know-how with a series of hands-on activities and on the weekend (11-12 November), the outdoor Marketplace returns, enabling visitors to discover objects made by the city’s creatives, artisans and small businesses, from handcrafted unique goods to sustainably sourced products.

Download the Dubai Design Week app to find out more about the programme and create your own bespoke schedule.