Explore Dubai Design and that of the wider region at the Design Days Dubai showcase, ‘WASL’, an exhibition of local design. While, the UAE’s celebration of design might be the world’s most diverse design fair, the special showcase highlights design talent from the across the United Arab Emirates, including design pieces from influential Emirati designers.

Aloud Lootah – Oru Lamp

‘WASL’ features design by emerging and established UAE-based designers and makers, with all the pieces on display having been designed or produced in the UAE over the past five years; since the launch of Design Days Dubai in 2012. The exhibition marks a positive milestone in the nascent UAE design scene and an insight into the processes and inspirations of the region’s creative talents; for local designers, cultural and local context play a vital role in the conception of their design pieces works and materials found locally, often inspire the designers throughout their practice.

Latifa Saeed - Braided Series
Latifa Saeed – Braided Series

Fair Director of Design Days Dubai, Cyril Zammit said: “Design Days Dubai has been a great push for the regional appreciation of design. We opened the door to high design, the very specific art of producing exquisite pieces in limited edition or even to commission an object just for you. In the 5 years since the fair’s launch in 2012, the design scene has matured and fostered a new generation of designers. As a tribute to them we present ‘WASL’.”

Works on show vary from furniture objects to lighting, floor and wall accessories to graphic prints showing the diversity of local talent. Many design works have been made with the support of local initiatives, including those managed by Tashkheel1971 Design Space, the Sheikha Salama Foundation and the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award.

Viktor Udzenija - Little Rocker
Viktor Udzenija – Little Rocker

Design pieces can viewed from established designers, such as Khalid Shafar and Aloud Lootah, who run local product design studios and produce bespoke and iconic pieces of furniture in the UAE, as well as work from artist Zeinab Al Hashemi.  Emerging designers include Talin Hazbar and Latifa Saaed, whose installation ‘Earth Hives’ was shown during the first Dubai Design Week in 2015. For the full list of participating UAE-based designers see below.

Khalid-Shafar, ILLUSION ARM
Khalid-Shafar – ILLUSION ARM

What’s more, further demonstrating the growth and maturity of the Dubai design landscape, in the UAE and the wider region, a record number of regional exhibitors are showcasing at Design Days Dubai. These include the first participation of Monogram and M.A.D Gallery (both Dubai), Samovar and Loulwa Al-Radwan (both Kuwait), Vick Vanlian and Georges Amatoury Studio (both Lebanon), Kalo (UAE) and Aisha Al-Sowaidi (Qatar). And, returning exhibitors: 1971 Design Space, Aljoud Lootah, Cities, Fatima bint Mohamed bin Zayed Initiative, Fadi Sarriedine, Nakkash Gallery, Shamsa Alabbar and Tashkeel, all based in the Emirates, along with Coalesce (Pakistan), Naqsh Collective (Jordan) and Squad Design (Lebanon).

Afra Bin Dhaher - Paravents
Afra Bin Dhaher – Paravents

From an international perspective, world-leading design galleries at the fair in 2016 include; Carpenters Workshop Gallery (UK/France/USA), Victor Hunt designArt Dealers (Belgium), Art Factum (Lebanon) and Gallery S. Bensimon (France) and newcomers J.C.T Haute Couture Interiors (France), Camp Design Gallery (Italy), Barcelona Design Gallery (Spain) and Dutch Creative Industry (The Netherlands), more than 45 exhibitors from a total of 20 countries.

design days dubai

Ibdaa - Emiraty Shelf
Ibdaa – Emiraty Shelf

‘WASL’ 2016 Designers

Dubai Design

Abdalla Almulla, IntrinsicFlux (2015) from “Zero” exhibition at 1971 Design Space
Afra Bin Dhaher, Parascene (2015)
Aljoud Lootah, Oru Series (2015) and Misnad (2015 – On Loan from the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, Abu Dhabi)
Ammar Kalo, [Fabric]ations (2015) from “Zero” exhibition at 1971 Design Space
Anjali Srinivasan, Elephant (2015)
Anna Szonyi, IDO (2015 – Winner of Urban Commissions 1.0)
Architecture + Other Things, Sit.2 (2015)
Arty by AMN, AlHoson Arm Chair (2015)
Bahar Al Bahar, Zero Waste Table (2013)
D04 Studio, Medkhan (2015)
Design Talk, 8 Point Bench (2015)
Fadi Sarieddine, Cane Side Table (2011)
IBDAA, Emiraty Shelf (2014)
Ivan Parati (Caravan), Tile Table – (2015 – Winner of Van Cleef & Arpels The Middle East Emergent Designer Prize)
Khalid Shafar, Dubai Journey (2010) & Illusion Arm (2011)
Khatt Foundation & Tashkeel, Arabic Type Design For Beginners: An Illustrated Guidebook  (2013)
Latifa Saeed, Braided Series (2014)
Loci Architecture + Design, Khatt (2014)
Michael Rice, Genesis Bowl (2016)
Rand Abdul Jabbar, FORMA: One (2015)
Saher Oliver Samman, Woven (2015)
Salem Al Mansoori, Mimicry (2013 – Winner Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East Emergent Designer Prize)
Taher Asad Bakhtiari, The Tribal Weave Project (2015 – On Loan from the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, Abu Dhabi)
Talin Hazbar, Lithic (2015)
Tinkah, Constructed Feast (2015)
Viktor Udzenija, Little Rocker (2015)
Zeinab Al Hashemi, San’am (2014)

All photography via Design Days Dubai