Platform is targeted at talent development, business support and promoting UAE-based designers internationally
Dubai, 17 April 2017 – The Dubai Design & Fashion Council (DDFC) announced the launch of the DDFC Membership, a platform to connect the creative community and support UAE-based designers through talent development and business support initiatives. The DDFC Membership will enable designers to participate in local and international events and awards, elevating the status of the design industry in the region, and strengthening its contribution to the development of the Emirate. In addition, the platform will support design companies in Dubai and the region by offering them access to Dubai based young talents and established designers across various fields and segments of design.
The launch of the DDFC Membership marks another key milestone for DDFC. Established under a mandate from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, DDFC develops and nurtures a sustainable design industry in Dubai, while enabling the growth and recognition of designers based in the UAE and the MENA region. Working across five key segments (Architecture, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design and Product Design), DDFC is leading the transformation of the design landscape in the UAE through initiatives that include; the incubation of the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), a unique educational institution offering the first Bachelor of Design degree in the region, and the commissioning of the MENA Design Outlook reports, a series of ground-breaking reports released in collaboration with d3 to outline the key parameters and developments of the design industry on the region.
Following a keynote by Dr. Amina Al Rustamani - Chairperson of DDFC, a panel discussion moderated by Richard Dean - Presenter, Business Breakfast, Dubai Eye, featured: Jazia Al Dhanhani - CEO of DDFC, Ghassan Harfouche - Group CEO of Middle East Communications Network (MCN), Tariq Khayat - Head of Region, Middle East at Zaha Hadid Architects, Shivang Dhruva - Founder & Director at FAD International Academy and Reem Al Gaith - Founder of Tinkah. The panel highlighted key aspects of the DDFC Membership and discussed the evolving design industry in the Emirate as well as key international trends within the sector.
Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, Chairperson of DDFC, said: “We are launching the DDFC Membership to drive the creation of a leading pool of talent that will become the next generation of global designers and lead to the growth of Dubai’s design industry. This vision to develop the industry is aligned with the Dubai Plan 2021 outlined by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make Dubai a model for sustainable economic development underpinned by innovation and creativity. The launch of the DDFC Membership is a significant milestone for DDFC, and will allow us to propel the industry further while advocating for positive change and progress by harnessing the combined potential of the creative community.”
She added, “The MENA Design Outlook study revealed that the MENA Design sector is still a predominantly import-oriented industry where locally produced design goods and services account for approximately 35 percent of the total market size. In specific segments of design, particularly Fashion and Furniture, 80 percent of the demand is satisfied through imports instead of local production, signaling the need to nurture and support local talent. This further reinforces the value that the DDFC Membership will bring to the region’s creative community, paving the way in making Dubai the emerging design capital of the world.”
Commenting on the launch of the platform, Jazia Al Dhanhani - CEO of DDFC, said: “Dubai has witnessed an accelerated growth in the design industry in recent years, and the increasing number of designers, companies and platforms targeted at the creative community are shaping our eco-system, effectively positioning Dubai as a destination for design. Today, we are proud to be launching the DDFC Membership, a platform to bring the design community together, offering designers a multitude of career-focused initiatives, business support initiatives, and showcasing opportunities. We are committed to encouraging creativity and competence through facilitating professional support, promoting talent development, and creating new opportunities on an ongoing basis.”
The DDFC Membership will place a strong focus on talent development, aligned with DDFC’s mandate to provide creatives with professional experience, and offering businesses access to designers with the right skill sets. Designers at any stage in their career, from students, to established designers, can apply for the relevant DDFC Membership category on the DDFC website (www.ddfc.ae).
DDFC Membership Offerings
An initiative developed to connect up-and-coming talent and students with the foremost design companies in the UAE and give members the right opportunities to build their resumes and gain valuable experience in their field.
Mentorship is a career acceleration initiative, which offers designers the opportunity to learn from the expertise and experience of industry experts, to enable them to grow and develop their careers across fields of Business Planning, Innovation, Sales & Marketing, Creative, and Production.
Members will also benefit from a host of dedicated workshops, talks and specialized training offered across different disciplines.
DDFC Business Incubator
Members will also have the unique opportunity to apply for the DDFC Business Incubator initiative. The region’s newest incubator will enable entrepreneurs to transform their creative ideas into commercial successes. The DDFC Incubator will provide members with extensive support from industry leaders, running from concept to execution and spanning business pitches, strategies, marketing, sales, and operations, among others.
Legal and Financial Advisory
Members will be able to access curated information and advice that will inform their business planning, as well as benefit from professional financial and legal advisory services, including one-on-one legal advisory sessions. Designers can get the fundamental legal support they need regarding contracts, intellectual property, legal disputes and copyright laws.
The DDFC Membership will also include community initiatives and showcasing opportunities for members, raising the profile of UAE-based designers both locally and internationally. This includes showcasing opportunities at key industry events such as the DSF Market Outside the Box, INDEX Design Series, Design Days Dubai, and Dubai Design Week, among others. Members will also be able to showcase their work at landmark international events, such as the recently concluded London Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week.
In addition, members will be able to take advantage of exclusive retail partnerships and opportunities such as the newly launched ‘The Collector,’ a platform developed in partnership with Robinsons to promote Emirati designers.