The fifth year of Downtown Design, the anchor event for Dubai Design Week, will see the show double in size.
We’re promised “a huge range of carefully selected best-in-class established and emerging brands from all over the world”. The show will have 150 brands from 25 countries across 26 product categories – including furniture and lighting, textiles and accessories, and kitchen and bathroom technology.
“The show continues its rise, while focusing on connecting exhibitors to the region’s leading architects and interior designers,” said Downtown Design show director Rue Kothari. “Helping brands and buyers to unlock the potential of the Middle East design market is at the heart of Downtown Design.”
It’s clear that many of those brands recognise this – there’s 90 percent retention of “key brands”, meaning most of the big names from last year will be back. They include the likes of Kettal, Minotti, and Moroso. Equally impressive is the roster of newbies – among them B&B Italia, Designer’s Guild, MDF Italia, Meridiani, Marset, Sans Souci, Santa Cole and Vondom.
The Italian connection is strong. For the third year running there will be an Italian ‘pavilion’ (actually just a discrete block of the exhibition area) promoting brands from the country. They will be joined this year for the first time by a Portuguese pavilion, which should be interesting; Portugal is widely regarded as a high-potential design laboratory.
The emphasis on brands is key to Downtown Design, incidentally; it’s essentially a B2B show, connecting suppliers and manufacturers with local bulk buyers and retailers. The design on show is strictly commercial (and none the worse for that). If it’s design per se that you want, you need Design Days Dubai in the Spring – that’s much more of a B2C event, with more individual designers and one-offs on show.
Downtown Design runs from 14-17 November in its usual purpose-built venue at d3.
The complete exhibitor list:
AW Rostamani Lifestyle
Designed by Hind
Carpets and Flooring
CC – Tapiz
Hands Carpets and Rugs
Carl Hansen & Son
Caspaiou & Meridiani
Chattels & More
MDF Italia and B&B Italia
Siematic/ La Cornue
It’s all about Romi
Santa & Cole
Studio cast glass