Footwear, fashion, culture, art and design. Welcome to the world of Sole DXB…

The festival of contemporary culture is back. Sole DXB is a place to celebrate the underground. From film to sport, fashion to art, the festival evades definition and is a place to experience rather than categorise.

Running from December 5 to 7, this year the globally divers heavyweight line-up of music is enough to tempt even the most selective of music fans, and there is also a celebration of the sights and sounds of Jamaica.

Check out our guide to everything happening over the weekend.


This year Sole DXB pivots around the music, arts and culture of the island of Jamaica. The motherland of ska, dub, reggae and ragga, it is also the foundation of hip-hop and grime movements across Africa and Europe.

Jamaican sensation Koffee will be on the main stage for her first performance in the region, along with fellow Jamaican and Grammy-nominated artist, Protoje. PUMA will dive further into the island’s talent pool by bringing female singers Lila Ike and Sevana to the event.

Maryland rapper and PUMA global brand ambassador, YBN Cordae, will perform in the PUMA space on Friday with tracks from his freshly released and highly acclaimed debut studio album the Lost Boy.

Dubai gallery, The Third Line, in collaboration with Afflicted Yard, will present a survey exhibition of artworks by the late Jamaican artist, Peter Dean Rickards. This self-taught photographer’s archive introduces a fresh and unbiased glimpse into the various aspects of Jamaican life.


Eight hand-picked teams will play throughout the three days in the Sole Ball Above All classic Tournament. It is a winner-take-all tournament featuring some of Dubai’s most promising players and some celebrity surprises.


For the first time this year, Sole DXB is introducing the marketplace for breakthrough and independent brands showcasing limited editions and one-offs. Highlights include @azradubai, who creates sustainable leather products; @leafapparel, a streetwear brand from Cape Town; @reconstruct.collective, a female design collective; and @six5sixstreet, an Indian brother-sister duo designing sports streetwear.

Vintage kicks

Get your hands on some original Air Force 1s, Nike Dunk high-tops or the extremely rare Air Max 90 limited edition Alexander McQueen design at the Archive DNA sneaker auction. Part sale, part exhibition, this show is a timeline of some of the most historic street footwear of all time.

Also, head down to the Sneaker Swap, where people will have the opportunity to buy, sell and trade footwear from leading collectors in the region.


This year, PUMA will bring to life a customisation collaboration with Chinatown Market, a US-based streetwear brand. With fun graphics, cheeky prints and a bold attitude, you will be able to customise PUMA apparel, footwear and accessories using state-of-the-art printing technology. There will also be workshops about DIY customisation methods.

The Third Line will also launch its shop at this year’s edition, serving as a platform to promote the work of rising artists and designers from the region.


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Some of the biggest names in hip-hop, soul, reggae, and R&B are coming together for this mega-celebration. On Friday December 6, PUMA will present Burna Boy for his headline show in Dubai.

New York legends Wu-Tang Clan will headline Saturday December 7, celebrating the 25th anniversary of groundbreaking album 36 Chambres. On stage during the same day, Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli perform as Black Star and will present a 20th anniversary celebration of their monumental collection.

London’s ‘Godfather of Grime’ Wiley comes to the main stage on Friday, while Ocean Wisdom will join Sole DXB for his debut Middle East performance. Other explosive additions include rapper Rico Nasty, Dave East and Xharlie Black (the new alias of Eddie Cole), who will bring some jazz-inspired hip-hop to the festival.

The main stage on Saturday will also welcome home Montreal-based Iraqi hip-hop artist, Narcy, and on Friday, Foreign Beggars will lend a taste of London hip-hop and dubstep to proceedings. Dubai-based artist TAC will also make his Sole DXB debut.

Sole DXB, Dubai Design District, Thursday December 5 from 6.30pm, Friday December 6 and Saturday December 7, noon to 10pm, from Dhs245.

Images: Provided