His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has visited the Dubai Design District, d3, where he reaffirmed the importance of nurturing talent and innovation, which, he said are "fundamental pillars of sustainable development". He was accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed called on all relevant parties to continue with their commitment to creating environments that foster creativity and encourage young talent to chart innovative paths for development, thus contributing to the achievement of Dubai’s strategic objectives.
During his visit, Sheikh Mohammed also highlighted the role of the design industry in shaping the future, saying, "The economic sectors that depend on innovation and creativity are the actual movers of the economy. We must focus on encouraging talent and help them blossom and become an active part of our economy and community."
He added, "The UAE has become a global hub for diverse knowledge-based sectors. Our aim is to consolidate our status in the design sector, in which we have tremendous potential for growth, and make our country a preferred destination for global companies. We also aim to position the UAE as an incubator for creative ideas and professionals."
Sheikh Mohammed toured different areas of the Dubai Design District, and visited some businesses. He was briefed on the second phase of the district’s development, which features a Creative Community spread over one million square feet, a thriving centre that seeks to attract designers as well as visitors and tourists. Set to open in 2019, the Creative Community will provide a base for an additional 6,500 creative professionals. When complete, it will expand the d3 community and create a platform for designers from across disciplines such as fashion, jewellery, architecture, furniture and others to showcase their work.
During the visit, Sheikh Mohammed also met with local and regional designers and entrepreneurs, and reiterated the importance of the design industry in fostering creativity and innovation and building the economy of the future.
The Creative Community will also be home to the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, DIDI, the region’s first design university, offering a curriculum that has been structured in cooperation with the world’s leading design institutions, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York's Parsons School of Design. The Creative Community will also see the establishment of a state-of-the-art laboratory, "Fablab", equipped with prototyping and production facilities.
The d3 masterplan includes a 1.8 km Creekside waterfront featuring entertainment and hospitality outlets, concept retail outlets and design-led hotels, which together will create a global design, culture and art destination.
Abdullah Al-Habbai, Chairman of Dubai Holding, said, "We are honoured by the visit of His Highness, whose vision and guidance was instrumental in establishing the Dubai Design District. The start of the second phase of the project reflects the success of d3 and Dubai’s commitment to providing an ecosystem that encourages creativity and innovation and promotes the growth of the design sector in the UAE."
Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, Group Chief Executive Officer of TECOM Group, expressed her sincere appreciation to the Dubai Ruler for his continued support for enhancing creativity and innovation in Dubai. She said that Sheikh Mohammed's vision has always been, and will remain, a crucial factor in the success of the Dubai Design District. She added that d3 will continue to strive to develop itself into a full-fledged creative centre and unique global destination that puts the UAE at the forefront of the design sector.
According to the latest studies published by the MENA Design Outlook, the size of the design sector in the UAE is projected to reach AED116.7 billion by the end of 2017, registering an annual growth of 4.5 percent since 2013.
d3 is the region’s first destination dedicated to design, and serves as a global platform for the region’s community of creative thinkers, artists and designers. It currently hosts more than 415 businesses, 211 SMEs and 85 Emirati companies, as well as over 7,000 professionals including innovators, designers and creators.