Dubai – MENA Herald: Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the third edition of Downtown Design opens today.

The centrepiece of Dubai Design Week, held for the first time at Dubai Design District (d3), with more than 90 brands from 25 countries exhibiting, Downtown Design has doubled its footprint from last year.

The Middle East’s leading industry platform brings together international and regional designers and buyers, while also giving the design-loving public the opportunity to discover never-before-seen products from some of the world’s finest contemporary talents.

Presenting a carefully considered selection of original, high-quality design from all over the world, Downtown Design features established brands whose products have achieved iconic status, alongside emerging names who are producing remarkable, innovative work. The fair spans a spectrum of product categories, including furniture, lighting, bathrooms, kitchens, textiles and accessories, with exhibitors hand-picked to demonstrate the best and most interesting thinking in each.

Rue Kothari, the Fair’s newly appointed Director says: “Downtown Design represents a crucial link in the region’s design ecosystem. We are committed to creating an experience that nurtures both exhibitors and visitors. This will become an exciting alternative to traditional design fairs; showing what’s innovative and relevant, while representing the spirit and dynamism of our smart, emerging economy.”

Moza Shaiban Suwaidan, Director of Projects & Events Department at the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, added: “As an integral part of Dubai Design Week, Downtown Design has strong potential to nurture creative and commercial partnerships in the design scene. It is a compelling platform to highlight the works of emerging talents and open doors for tangible commercial opportunities to drive their growth. Our partnership underlines the commitment of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority to support initiatives that educate, inform and inspire the next generation of talent.”

This year’s show promises to be not only the biggest, but also the most diverse and widely attended. As the key commercial element of Dubai Design Week, Downtown Design is set to attract its broadest audience ever. Many of Dubai Design Week’s initiatives are based in or around Downtown Design at d3, including the Destinations showcase of the best work exhibited by the world’s youngest Design Week cities: Helsinki, Istanbul, San Francisco, Mexico, Beijing and Melbourne.

Each day of the fair will feature a series of industry talks and panel discussions that will tell the stories behind many of the products on show and shine a light on the rapidly evolving design industry of Dubai and its surrounding region. As well as discovering the very latest pieces from brands such as Bolon, Lasvit, Kartell and Lalique, visitors will be able to garner insights on everything from interiors colour trends for 2016 to the science behind designing for the workplace.

Mohammed Al Shehhi, COO of Dubai Design District (d3) commented:

As a platform for the design industry in the region, d3 are proud to be supporting the third edition of Downtown Design. To see how the fair has grown, and to the fact that it is now located at d3, is testament to both the teams efforts and to the evolution of Dubai into the creative heart of the Middle East’s design industry”

Since its establishment in 2013 as a forum for international design, Downtown Design has grown to become the most influential commercial design event in the MENASA region. As a founding pillar of Dubai Design Week, the fair is set to become one of the key events on the global design calendar.