Downtown Design revs up design business

A new management team, new design trends, and developing new commercial opportunities: these are the ace cards of the Dubai event, ready to go live in November

This autumn is set to be a hot one for the design community as many industry events are set to start back up. But Dubai is one of the very few international design hubs that never skipped in-person trade fairs. Indeed, last year, Dubai Design Week was the first in-person event in the UAE since the start of the pandemic. This year, expectations are even higher because of the astonishing triad of events that Dubai is hosting in November: Downtown Design, Dubai Design Week, and Dubai Expo.

Especially interesting for companies, international brands, and design professionals, the ninth Downtown Design is to be held from November 8 to 12 in partnership with the Dubai Design District (d3) and supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

Downtown Design 2019
Downtown Design 2019

Downtown Design is the vibrant heart of design week; this year it is a fresh format and with new exhibitions, including the categories of lighting, bathroom and kitchen, materials and finishes, accessories, and soft furnishings. Of course, a primary role is also played by bespoke design and limited editions within the context of Downtown Edition.
But in addition to the trends and concepts, the main new features of the event are in the value the design week creates — this year more than ever — by creating and bolstering commercial and business opportunities among its participants.

Key to the new strengths is its new management, led by the event specialist David Ross that is implementing an enhanced programme of features and benefits supported by an advisory committee, composed of leading members of the regional A&D community.

“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,” says David Ross, Director, Downtown Design. “With new projects launching across the region, and with Expo opening here in less than 60 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.”

Downtown Design
Downtown Design 2019

“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 Editions
Downtown Editions 2019

For more information and accessing the Middle East’s A&D community at the fair contact the organisers on