The ‘new’ D3

The leaders of the Dubai Design District are visiting Milan to discover the 58th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano. Khadija Al Bastaki, Executive Director, reveals some anticipations of the next D3

Khadija Al Bastaki, Executive Director, Dubai Design District
Khadija Al Bastaki, Executive Director, Dubai Design District

Three Emirati women were appointed to leadership roles within TECOM Group recently: is it a sign of an important change in the society? What is the path the Group is tracing with this new generation of national leaders?
TECOM Group’s parent company, Dubai Holding, actively supports Dubai’s vision through nurturing the next generation of UAE national leaders across a wide range of sectors and subsidiaries. Diversity and inclusion are integral to our philosophy at TECOM Group.
In line with this commitment, the Group recently appointed three Emirati women from within the organisation into leadership roles. The move reflects Dubai Holding’s objective of empowering Emirati women, as well as the organisation’s dedication to recognising and developing talent from within the organisation.

Dubai design district
Dubai design district

Could you please tell us about your previous executive experience and about your new role as Executive Director of d3?
Prior to joining d3, I was Director of Business Development for Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, and Dubai Production City, members of TECOM Group. I was responsible for identifying and leveraging business growth opportunities within the integrated ecosystem that was instrumental in Dubai’s emergence as an international hub for the media and creative industries.
In my current role as Executive Director of d3, my primary goal is to consolidate d3’s position regionally and globally through strategic development, diverse cultural programming, and partnerships. I work on building the profile of d3 as a leading destination for design, art, and culture through enabling a strong design community, attracting homegrown design talent, and elevating the UAE culture and design scene to a global level. My responsibilities also include the implementation of d3’s business vision and future growth plans, as well as supporting entities that aim to educate and mentor the next generation of designers, such as the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) and in5.

Dubai design district
Dubai design district

Are there sectors you’d like to improve or focus more on (retail, art, culture…)?
While we focus on design and the wider creative community, we also continue to develop other business opportunities across the district. It is important to enable collaborations between brands and establish a more connected network within the community, which, once optimised, will boost the growth of companies within d3. As a creative hub it is vital to provide the infrastructure to make these synergies possible, and we are well placed to achieve this priority.

Dubai design district
Dubai design district

Will the synergy with Downtown Design and Dubai Design Week continue? Any anticipation about the next edition?
Yes, absolutely. The two initiatives have played a key role in the growth of d3 as well as the overall design industry in the Middle East. Dates for both events have already been announced, and we look forward to continue supporting the success of the upcoming editions.

Dubai design district
Dubai design district