Fata Morgana, Abwab, Dubai Design Week 2020
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Dubai Design Week returns for its sixth edition from the 9th-14th of November 2020. This edition sheds light on the regional design scene under the theme of redefining and reimagining the way we will live in the near and distant future. The creative festival will stage a series of installations and urban interventions and outdoor experiences.

Here are some of the programme highlights of this year’s edition.

Iraqi designer Hozan Zangana has been awarded this year’s Abwab commission for his proposal ‘Fata Morgana’ (check the above gallery).

The MENA Grad Show
The MENA Grad Show is a world-first exhibition of the best social impact innovation projects from the region, in the fields of technology, science and design. The inaugural edition received over 200 submissions from 35+ universities based in the Middle East and North Africa. A key component of Dubai Design Week’s programme in d3, the MENA Grad Show will exhibit graduate projects that make the world a better place, complemented with a programme that supports young talent in sharing knowledge and experiences to advance their professional careers. The initiative is supported by A.R.M. Holding and Dubai Culture, in line with their continued engagement with Global Grad Show and support of the local and regional creative communities as well as youth.

Tria, by Tea Vignoli from The University of Bologna
Tria, by Tea Vignoli from The University of Bologna

Downtown Design
In light of the pandemic, Downtown Design 2020 will take a hybrid format, bringing the design community together across physical as well as digital platforms. Spotlighting progressive design thinking from the Middle East, Downtown Design’s multimedia exhibition ‘The Shape of Things to Come’ will feature conceptual work by the region’s architects and interior designers as they imagine how we will interact with our environment and each other in the future, exploring how we will live, work and play in a post-pandemic landscape, including an innovative pedestrian network, a new approach to design for places of worship and the evolution of air travel. Continuing to support the objectives of the design industry in these challenging times, Downtown Design’s new digital fair, debuting during Dubai Design Week, will connect international and regional brands with the fair’s network of buyers, architects and interior designers.

Downtown Design 2020
Downtown Design 2020

Outdoor Installations
Staged throughout the open-air, pedestrian setting of Dubai Design District (d3), outdoor installations and public interventions will respond to the fast-paced changes occurring in our urban environment and the new challenges arising from the requirement of physical distancing, The installations include; Renowned Emirati designers, Khalid Shafar, Aljoud Lootah and Hamad Khoory who have been commissioned by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) to create convertible seating solutions designed for the UAE’s continuously adapting urban environments; Multi-disciplinary Kuwait based Studio Meshary AlNassar has joined forces with global surface brand Cosentino to present a contemporary take on the ancient Persian paradise garden, an antidote for enclosed spaces; Jumanah Rizk and Delta Light will showcase an abstract installation rooted in a contextual exploration of material that cultivates the local and natural resources in response to COVID-19.

Voices of Design
Focused on sharing creative and commercial insights into the Middle East’s design market, ‘Voices of Design’ is a series of short films by Downtown Design.

In the below episode of Voices of Design, Aljoud talks about the region’s evolving design scene and how regional creatives are offering a new perspective on the Middle East by interpreting their culture and traditions for a global audience.


In the below episode of Voices of Design, Tarik talks about how a new generation of regional designers and clients is driving the growing demand for high-quality design solutions across the region.

Dubai Design Week runs from the 9th until the 14th of November. 



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Dia Mrad, “Utilities”

The exhibition ethnographically explores the material manifestations of Lebanon’s economic crisis across Beirut’s urban fabric. Lebanon is now the site of one of the world’s worst economic crises since the 1850s. Through an ethnographic lens, Utilities seeks to explore Beirut’s…

Perpetual Inventory and Dr. O’s Pop Shop

Perpetual Inventory was conceived by Dr. Omar Kholeif during the height of global lockdown. In this period of stillness, Kholeif spent much of their time alone in archives and storage units, in and around the UAE. The proposition of Perpetual…


Two Exclusive Exhibitions dedicated to the Region and Lebanon   Tribute to Etel Adnan, Lebanese artist and poetess Etel Adnan, Eight ceramics (50 x 50 cm), directed by Alexandra Catelain-Orange, © MENART FAIRFrom the Olivéa series, a tribute to the…

Sami Aboul Azm, Al Masar Gallery

PLACES… Familiar Places; there are some that have lost their familiarity and have become unrecognizable. When people attend the scene in silence, the unfamiliar seems even stranger than before. When One imagines a whole scene of what is an uninhabited…

Sursock Museum: Restoring Artworks after August 4, 2020

The Sursock Museum is holding a public talk detailing the restoration process of the artworks damaged at the Museum following the August 4 explosions. The talk features Veronique Sorano-Stedman, the head of the restoration-conservation department of modern and contemporary art at…

Islamic Arts Biennale

Diriyah Biennale Foundation’s inaugural edition of Islamic Arts Biennale to spotlight 18 Saudi Arabian artists   Hosted by the Diriyah Biennale Foundation, one of the key highlights of the inaugural edition of the Islamic Arts Biennale taking place between January…

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