The ultimate guide to Dubai Design District (D3)

A very lively area with plenty to offer, if you know where to look

05 Dec 2019, words by Dyuthi Prakash in The Guides

Dubai Design District

When the concept of a working/living design community was introduced in Dubai in 2015, it almost seemed like a far-fetched fantasy. The fact that the Dubai Design District (D3) neighbourhood was modelled after the likes of the Miami Design District made it seem further utopian. It was dubbed to become the next world’s design and fashion capital, leaving Milan, London and New York at its doorstep. 

If there is one thing we know well about Dubai, it is that the city stops at nothing. It has proven time and time again, with its constantly evolving landmarks, that what other cities dream, Dubai achieves without hesitation. Located next to Downtown Dubai, D3 has been constantly evolving over the years. Here are some highlights:

Much beyond a workplace

Sole DXB
Image courtesy: D3

The beauty of d3 is that it is not just a workplace. After 5 pm, it transforms into a social space where music concerts and art exhibitions take stage. During winter, it plays host to events like Meet d3, Sole DXB, Downtown Design and Global Grad Show. You can grab a quick bite at a hippie food truck, chat with design students, or even watch a fashion show. The streets turn wild with pomp and show, with little memory of the quiet that reigned before dusk. It certainly ticks all the boxes a mixed-use workplace needs to attract the best creative talent.

The right community to set up your business

Workspace
Image courtesy: Unsplash

In addition to being a fun, lively environment to foster creative thinking, it also hosts independent thinkers in its co-working spaces. Set on the ground floor at street level, the space comes equipped with high-speed internet, a fully stocked pantry and free use of the meeting rooms. It is also designed with the ultimate business entrepreneur in mind, with focus areas and collaboration spaces to help startups grow without the need to set up a fully-fledged office. With some of the best design firms in the district, there’s no doubt that any fledgling freelancer will be poised for success at D3.

Eat, Shop, Explore

The Espresso Lab | D3
Image credit: The Espresso Lab

D3 is home to some of the region’s best shops, restaurants and showrooms, which is what sets it apart from other workplace communities. After work, you can stop by The Lighthouse for a quick scan of the latest modern art pieces, or by Montroi, a boutique design studio that showcases leather products. It also hosts a range of cuisines from Mediterranean to Japanese at 1Life, Craft Cafe, Yui, Akiba Dori and Lighthouse. If you’re craving a specialty coffee, The Espresso Lab is just round the corner.

An Art Haven

Image credit: Sconci Gallery
Image credit: Sconci Gallery

Being the region’s premier creative hub, it is only fitting that it hosts the region’s best art galleries too. A new addition to the district, the Sinyar Gallery supports emerging Emirati art and culture and also provides a platform for art gatherings, workshops and training. Art Hub, one of the first established art galleries in Dubai, continues to host contemporary and abstract artwork for sale or rent. Sconci Gallery is another family-owned Italian gallery that showcases art from Italy and around the world dating back to the seventeenth century.

Today, it is no surprise that d3 is now the bustling capital for design, attracting top designers and artists from across the world, and has positioned itself royally on the map for international creatives.