FASHION AND DESIGN
Dubai is the design capital of the Middle East and an industry hub for both companies and creative professionals from around the region and beyond. Design is something that is taken seriously in Dubai, as is evident from the importance that is placed on style and the aesthetics of buildings and both private and public spaces in the city. As such, there is a vibrant design industry in Dubai that is a major employer of creative talent. As a multicultural community with an appetite for luxury and design, Dubai is an ideal base for fashion and design companies of all kinds.
An attractive destination for creatives and creative companies
Dubai is an inspiring place to be. Along with a history of entrepreneurial thinking, the city embraces the importance of ideation and creation, as well as following-through on a vision to bring things to life. Under the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority, TECOM Group’s business communities are home to more than 5,400 businesses and over 90,000 employees. From global names, to ambitious start-ups and inspired freelancers, Dubai attracts businesses and talented professionals from around the world, reinforcing its reputation as a global hub for business and commerce. With a free-thinking and supportive environment, Dubai is a prime destination for both established and emerging players in the creative industry.
The business of fashion
With a well-established fashion market and a strong mall culture, the Middle East presents significant opportunities for the fashion industry. High disposable incomes, high e-commerce adoption and changing consumer dynamics, especially in Saudi Arabia, are among the factors driving growth in the region. Annual spending on fashion in the UAE in particular is one of the highest levels in the world at US$ 1,600 per person in 2019 according to McKinsey’s ‘The State of Fashion’ report, and annual fashion sales in the region are estimated at US$ 50 billion. Dubai has a strategic advantage for fashion businesses looking to capitalise on the growth in the region as it is situated close to manufacturing hubs in India and Africa, simplifying the logistics of any fashion business based here.
Be where the action happens
Dubai hosts a number of global and regional events that bring the design community together. Dubai Design Week is the largest creative festival in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and showcases a range of interactive installations and workshops across a wide range of disciplines, including architecture, furniture and interiors. The Global Grad Show is a unique exhibition of invention and technology from the world’s next generation of design talent, and is the largest and most diverse gathering of designers in the world. Dubai Art Season includes Art Dubai and the Sikka Art Festival and is one of the many fine arts events hosted by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.
Dubai Design District (d3)
d3 is a design district that nurtures emerging local talent and provides a hub for the region’s creative thinkers. It’s home to over 9,000 people, more than 385 business partners including Dior, Burberry, Zaha Hadid Architects and Foster + Partners, with 94 Emirati partners. Whilst d3 focuses on supporting the creative sectors, it is also home to several government entities and leading companies from other industry sectors. The creative business community is also home to in5 Design, the community's startup enabler, centres such as the Audi Innovation Hub, and events including the quarterly design event Re-action, the region’s largest creative festival Dubai Design Week, and Sole DXB.
Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI)
DIDI is the region’s first university to offer a dedicated degree in the fields of fashion and design and is located in the heart of d3. The Institute was established to address the growing need for talented designers and innovators in the UAE and beyond. DIDI provides a world-class design education in an international learning environment to advance the knowledge, research and innovation opportunities for the next generation of designers.