Spearheaded by a dynamic new management team, the organisers of this year's live edition of Downtown Design promise a stimulating Fair that will reveal the latest global design trends and focus clearly on generating new commercial opportunities.

The new management team – which is headed by event specialist David Ross – is implementing an enhanced programme of features and benefits supported by an advisory committee, composed of leading members of the regional A&D community, that will be formed to consult on new elements to be incorporated in the 2021 Fair. Media consultant Catherine Belbin, who previously edited identity magazine, for over 20 years has also joined to bring decades of industry experience in Dubai to the Fair.

“We’re well aware that the business environment has changed during the pandemic and that substantial return on time and investment is now even more critical for visitors and exhibitors. With new projects launching across the region, and with Expo opening here in less than 100 days, Downtown Design 2021 is perfectly timed to reconnect the industry. The event will celebrate quality design, promote strong business contacts and generate new orders,” says David Ross, Director, Downtown Design. 

A key and essential element of this year’s Downtown Design will be the ‘Trade Connect’ programme that will ensure personal interaction between potential business partners at the fair. Senior professionals from architectural and design companies, property developers, hospitality operators and major procurement groups will soon be invited to apply to a programme that will include five star accommodation, high level networking events,  exclusive access strategy briefings from government officials and developers along with Expo 2020 and City design tours."

“There’s a real need for industry players from near and far to come together to share ideas and develop meaningful new contacts at this year’s fair. We’re enhancing the Trade Connect programme to help participants maximise their time, source high-quality products and develop closer relationships.” Ross says, adding, “Our fundamental goal is to provide a 360-degree experience that will result in successful business transactions.”

Downtown Design, held in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3) and is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, is the commercial centrepiece of Dubai Design Week (8-13 November), the region's largest creative festival, and the two events combine to reinforce Dubai’s position as the design centre of the Middle East. The fair provides various design-related initiatives, including installations, design talks and workshops across different design disciplines.