Dubai Design Week returns today with more than 120 stylish events and exhibitions. With something for every age group and enthusiasm, here’s our pick of the programme…

For foodies

The Karam Coffee Experience


Learn about the journey from ripening coffee cherry to cup of Joe with this workshop designed to give Java enthusiasts a better understanding of their caffeine habit. Attend a cupping session to learn how to analyse your brew, from the aroma and flavour to the colour and aftertaste, before exploring the different characteristics of beans from a host of different countries. Prior registration is required.

Saturday October 29. Karam Foods, Building 3580467, Street 4, Al Quoz 3, Dubai, 11am to 1pm. Taxi: Street 4.

*You have to check out The Collective in Al Quoz*
*8 ace shops that ship to the UAE*

Bice Mare’s Underwater Dining Experience

Whether you’re suitably exhibitioned out or just looking for a meal with a difference, Bice Mare’s five-day programme aims to bring a new design element to dining. Special underwater themed menus will be served each evening, with the chefs promising a treat for all the senses.

October 24 to 29. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, noon until 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 4230982. Taxi: Souk Al Bahar.

Mirzam Chocolate Factory Tour


Looking for an excuse for your chocolate habit? Now you can claim calories in the name of culture by touring the new Mirzam factory as part of a series of events marking the collaboration between the firm’s chocolate makers and Emirati designer and photographer Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum. Her mashrabiya-style wrapper designs are worthy of wall space…


October 25 to 29. Mirzam Chocolate Factory, Warehouse 70, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Dubai. Taxi: Alserkal Avenue.

For architecture buffs

Remembering Zaha Hadid


On Tuesday evening a panel discussion will take place that will focus on the late architect’s legacy within the Arab world. Panelists include Tariq Khayyat and Nada Taryam – expect lots of chat about how the context of the region affected and rooted Hadid’s work.

25 October. The Atrium, Building 4, Dubai Design District (d3), 6pm to 7pm. Free. More info on website.

A talk with Santiago Calatrava


Swiss-Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava is about to make a serious mark on the Dubai landscape: not only is he designing the UAE National Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, he’s also designed The Tower at Dubai Creek & Harbour, which will be the world’s tallest building (beating the Burj Khalifa) once complete. The neo-futurist will give a free talk at Dubai Design Week that’s a must for all architecture fans. (And it’s right after the Hadid panel.)


25 October. The Atrium, Building 4, Dubai Design District (d3), 7pm to 8pm. More info on website. 

For jewellery lovers

Fashion magpies will love this year’s events focusing on the joy of jewels. Local brand Monogram has created a new ‘statistical jewellery’ collection to coincide with Dubai Design Week, made from 18k gold. It’ll be on display at a pop-up held with Bloomingdale’s jewellery department, called Escaping Flatlands. Elsewhere, Emirati designer Salama Khalfan will showcase her collection of modular, multi-use jewellery at an event by S*uce Rocks boutique, and the Jewel Teller Project will display The Portfolio, an edited collection of fine jewellery, as well as hosting a series of guided tours and gem education seminars at its workshop in Al Quoz.

For interiors aficionados

Downtown Design


The fourth edition of this interiors extravaganza will feature its largest ever roster of design talent from across the fields of furniture, lighting, kitchen design, accessories and textiles. Inspired by the environment, this year’s event will focus on nature and sustainability – keep your eyes peeled for the bespoke installation by architect Tarik Zaharna, which uses sustainably sourced wood by the American Hardwood Export Council.

October 25 to 28. Downtown Design Tent, Dubai Design District, Dubai, Wed to Thur 6pm to 9pm, Fri 1.30pm to 9pm, free. Tel: (04) 5631428. Taxi: d3.

Global Grad Show


The second annual Global Grad Show aims to give visitors an insight into the ideas emerging from the world’s most revered up-and-coming young design professionals. Bringing together talent from 50 selected universities across 30 countries, this year’s notable projects include a wearable shelter, which turns from a coat into a tent or sleeping bag, and flat world, a set of maps which aims to show the arbitrary nature of political borders.


October 24 to 29. Building 6, Atrium, Dubai Design District (d3), Dubai, Mon to Fri 10am to 9pm, Sat 9am to 6pm, free. Taxi: d3.

For culture fans



Returning for a second year, Abwab, which means ‘doors’ in Arabic, is a gateway exhibition focusing on work from six different countries across the MENASA region (aka, Middle East, North Africa and South Asia). Housed in a specially-designed pavilion cluster, Algeria, Bahrain, India, Iraq, Palestine and the UAE will each present a host of commissioned works around the theme of human senses, with everything from pottery to paintings on display.

October 24 to 29. Between buildings 9 & 10, Dubai Design District, Mon to Fri 10am to 9pm, Sat 9am to 6pm,free. Taxi: d3.

Cairo Now! City Incomplete


Following on from Beirut’s Iconic City exhibition last year, this year’s installation looks at the changing landscape of Cairo, where the urban sprawl is full of buildings left unfinished to avoid taxation. Curated by architect, writer and academic, Mohamed Elshahed, the show features work by 12 designers, incorporating furniture, architecture, photography, graphic and typeface designs.

October 24 to 29. Building 6, Retail Unit R04, Dubai Design District, Dubai, 10am to 9pm, free. Taxi: d3.

For the artistically inclined

Lettering workshop X Tinkah


Typeface and font enthusiasts will be in their element at Tinkah’s three-day workshop on all things lettering. Learn about the typography of our city, experiment with a variety of tools and techniques and explore new ways of creating, before trying out your newfound skills on a customised box project. Registration is essential.

October 24 to 26. Tinkah Showroom, Building 7, Office 307B, Dubai Design District (d3), Dubai, 3pm to 7pm. Tel: (04) 3852211. Taxi: d3.

Urban Sketchers Workshop


Founded by sketching enthusiast Shanqoo in January 2015, Urban Sketchers’ Dubai Chapter aims to encourage artists of all levels to create new work, inspired by their surroundings. Working within a collaborative and supportive environment, and using a variety of media, participants will spread across d3 in a bid to find inspiration for their art.

Friday October 28. Dubai Design District (d3), Dubai, 3pm to 5pm, free. Taxi: d3.

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Images: Supplied