We’re anticipating a full programme of eye-catching installations, innovative product design, new talent, renowned international speakers and thought-provoking talks at this year’s Dubai Design Week, which will take over Dubai Design District from November 12 to 17. While the full line-up is yet to be announced we can reveal three exciting events that will make you start the countdown to the 2018 edition, all of which will once again put the emirate on the global design map.

Dubai’s first contemporary art museum

The first of its kind in the region, the Jameel Arts Centre will open on November 11 to coincide with Dubai Design Week and represents a significant moment in the city’s creative development. Designed by Serie Architects (based in Mumbai and London), the new museum in Dubai Cultural Village by Dubai Creek will be a three-storey multi-disciplinary space with 1,200 square metres dedicated for gallery exhibits, an open-access research centre, a flexible studio, events spaces, café and a bookshop. The building of Jameel Arts Centre is designed as a series of boxes of varying dimensions, connected by a one-storey colonnade and seven desert-themed courtyards designed by Anouk Vogel, a Swiss-Dutch architect specialising in creating art out of greenery and spaces. Exhibitions will be drawn in part from the Art Jameel Collection but you'll have to wait until September to find out more about the inaugural programme.

What the Jameel Arts Centre will look like at Dubai Cultural Village


Design Days Dubai becomes Downtown Editions

If you’re wondering why Design Days Dubai was off the design calendar in March, it’s because it’s been moved to Dubai Design Week and renamed Downtown Editions – not to be confused with Downtown Design, which will house the rebranded show in a dedicated section. For those who missed the show in the spring, you’ll welcome the news that it’s keeping the same format of exhibiting limited edition and collectible design from around the world, from individual designers to design associations and craft councils. Just like its predecessor, Downtown Editions will include a special focus on regional talent, helping emerging designers and start-up studios to make important market connections with visitors, buyers and the global media. While it’s a shame that Design Days Dubai – arguably one of the most exciting design exhibits of the year – is being relegated to a section under the Downtown Design roof instead of having its own worthy show, as was, we’re glad it hasn’t disappeared completely. Stay tuned to find out who is exhibiting later this year.

Apical Reform's Sonuslexica installation was a highlight of Design Days Dubai 2017


The Five Cities of Abwab

The 2018 Abwab exhibition will highlight five Middle East cities – Amman, Beirut, Dubai, Jeddah and Kuwait City – with two resident designers from each location creating work aimed to incite a cultural exchange experienced through design. The bulbous structure that housed Abwab last year was made from thousands of recycled mattress springs by Fahed + Architects and was a talking point itself with its innovative manufacturing and striking shape, gaining worldwide acclaim for its sustainable ethos. We’re looking forward to seeing what Architecture + Other things creates for this year’s pavilion – they’ve certainly got a tough act to follow!

Fahed + Architects created this striking pavilion for Abwab 2017 made from recycled mattress springs