It is hard not to ‘get creative' once you've experienced the brand new Dubai Design District. The three-day inaugural festivities which began on April 2 celebrated Dubai's deep passion for innovation.
Dubai Design District or d3 is a purpose-built design and creative hub. With dedicated arenas for food, music, fashion and design, the opening ceremony of Dubai's newest design district was a heady mix of contemporary and tradition. Festivities ended on Saturday midnight.
The ‘Meet d3' event was specifically commissioned and curated to feature a 100 strong creative mix of UAE-based, regional and international designers, artists, musicians, concept retailers and dining experiences.
"It was brilliant. Well laid out, with great music, and really cool venues. I am really looking forward to the next offering from D3,” said Gavin Cassidy, a Dubai resident.
Attractions like the Andy Wahloo tent and Bompas and Parr Artisanal Chewing Gum Factory drew crowds for all three consecutive days.
Amongst the participants on display over the weekend, the Meet d3 programme included a significant number of d3's business partners including local designers through multi-retail platform "Resid3nt”, Not Just a Label, Faux Consultancy, Lasvit, Silsal Design, S*uce, Tahir Sultan, Penguin Cube, Amongst Few, Wanders Wagner Architects, and Sole DXB.
There was also participation from Emirati creative talents such as Khaled Shafar, Bint Thani, Jalal Luqman, Hamdan International Photography Award (HIPA), Cinema Akil and Gazette, Anthropology of Design and Dr Reem El Mutwalli artists represented under Brand Dubai. International talents included renowned British singer-songwriter John Newman, Australian multi-talented artist DubFx, and British-Indian percussionist Talvin Singh.
Dr Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO, TECOM Investments, said: "‘Meet d3' marks the official opening of The Dubai Design District to the world. Through the culmination of teamwork, community spirit, creative innovation and love for all elements of design, it has been a tremendous success. The feedback from the wider UAE community, who showed their support through an overall attendance of more than 30,000, has been incredibly positive and demonstrates a keen appetite for many more such events at d3 in the future.”
The atmosphere of ‘Meet d3' throughout the three-day community event saw creatives, families, officials, food lovers, music enthusiasts and fashion decision-makers interacting and experiencing all elements of the design landscape within the newly created d3 destination.
"With more than 220 business partners signed up in Phase 1, d3 is looking forward to growing its partner base and the business interest just from this event has been very positive. We are excited to commence the second phase of our master plan development, which is the delivery of the Creative Community scheduled for completion in 2017. This will cover around one million square feet within d3, and will act as an incubator for emerging UAE-based designers and artists, as well as providing a natural home for art galleries and studios looking to engage directly with the region,” she added.
"We did not know what to expect from the ‘Meet d3' event and were curious to find out. My family truly had an incredible time and there was something for everyone to experience and discover. We look forward to seeing this hopefully as a yearly event,” Meryl Jason, Dubai resident and Indian national.
Another attendee Zeid Khafik said: "It is a very special place, since there is so much creativity.”