Building on Dubai’s status as a global fashion destination, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), is launching a first of its kind competition ‘Design for Dubai’ which aims to support local and regional designers and showcase their talent on both a regional and international stage.

The Design for Dubai competition will invite designers from across the GCC to submit three to four images of their capsule SS18 collection for runway, ready to wear, jewellery and accessories to be in with a chance of winning an exclusive month long, pop-up retail space in the new fashion extension at Dubai Festival City Mall.

The exclusive judging panel will include the biggest names in the retail and fashion industry, including Jazia Aldhnahani, CEO Dubai Design & Fashion Council (DDFC), Maitha Al Suwaidi, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, d3, Maryam Hassani, Founder of 55FIFTY7 and Lisseth Azab, Global Director, Azdef Group.

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of Dubai Tourism says: “We are excited to announce the launch of a brand new initiative that aims to discover and promote fashion designers from across the region, offering them the opportunity to showcase their collections in an exclusive dedicated retail space provided by our partners at Dubai Festival City Mall. I look forward to seeing designs from the incredible talent we have within the GCC, as well as providing the next step for the winners in their fashion careers. Dubai is well established as an international fashion destination and continues to be a base for emerging talent to launch themselves.”

Commenting on the competition, Steven Cleaver, Director Shopping Malls, Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate said: “The Design for Dubai competition in partnership with DTCM is one that we are incredibly passionate about, as we believe, there is an abundance of great local talent in this region, and having the chance to nurture these individuals and help them on their journey to success is truly exciting. We are really looking forward to housing five new designers at the mall’s exclusively curated fashion incubator as part of Design for Dubai competition. The winning designers will be in the company of the best fashion brands in the region with the likes of luxury department store Robinsons, the newly opened Zara and the French fast fashion brand Kiabi, among others.”

Jazia Aldhnahani, CEO, Dubai Design & Fashion Council: “Over the last couple of years, we have observed a rising tide of emerging fashion designers across our region, who are inspired by our culture and way of life. Competitions such as this one are important for two reasons: they give local talent an opportunity to showcase their work and measure up against the competition and they serve to motivate and inspire new generations of promising designers. The amount of creativity and energy these competitions unleash are truly remarkable, and I look forward to assessing many inspiring and creative entries.”

Maitha Al Suwaidi, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, d3: “I am delighted to be on the judging panel for this initiative led by Dubai Tourism to uncover five of the region’s emerging fashion designers. Supporting and nurturing local talent is a key objective for d3 and so is the growth of the design industry”

Maryam Hassani, Founder of 55FIFTY7: “It’s important for me to be able to give back to the design community by sharing my experiences with the young emerging designers. As one of the judges for this competition, I plan on choosing the most inspiring design.”

There’s good news for budding fashion designers – the competition is open to all residents and nationals from the GCC and will run for two weeks from 21 March until 4 April, with the five winners to be announced on 9 April.

The Dubai Design Competition builds on the Market Outside the Box (MOTB) event, which took place earlier this year as part of Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), in highlighting local designers. The 5th edition of MOTB saw 123, 422 people visiting the outdoor market during its residency at Burj Park, drawing an array of beautiful artisanal products from independent fashion, jewellery, beauty and homeware retailers.

To submit entries, please visit https://www.visitdubai.com/en/shop-dine-relax/this-season/design-competition and follow @visitdubai and #StyledinDubai for further information on the Design for Dubai Competition.

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