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The Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Saturday announced that a new district will be created in Dubai dedicated to developing the Emirate’s fashion, design and luxury sectors, a statement from the Government of Dubai Media Office said.
The “Dubai Design District” will be adjacent to the Business Bay area of Dubai. The district is expected to become a full service commercial hub for design industry-related organisations, brands, and supporting enterprises within the value chain.
It will feature a custom-built creative community that will encompass purpose-built commercial and retail facilities for established and emerging designers, design institutes, waterfront promenade, convention centre and event venues and related academic institutions.
Located a short distance from Dubai’s arterial highways and the Emirate’s two international airports, the district is in sight of the Creek, Dubai’s historic trading epicentre, the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping complex.
It is expected to be the most connected fashion district in the world, with Dubai being only 8 hours flight time from 90% of the countries in the world.
The district will be operated by TECOM Investments, a member of Dubai Holding, which has an impressive track record in creating, operating and growing successful, industry focused business parks in Dubai.
The new fashion, design, and luxury goods district builds on Dubai’s strengths in tourism, which is expected to double the number of visitors to 20 million by 2020, and in retail, which is estimated to grow to AED151billion in the next two years.
These strengths coupled with Dubai’s strategic location and business-friendly environment, have encouraged major industry players like Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Ralph Lauren to set-up operations in Dubai.
’Dubai Design District’ will be a vital part of the process as the Government looks to deliver against the objectives set out in its Tourism Vision 2020, and it will provide an additional key element in Dubai’s bid to host Expo 2020.
Over the past decade, Dubai has become an international location of choice for numerous world-class events, such as the Dubai World Cup, Art Dubai, Fashion Forward and Dubai International Film Festival, which all gather renowned personalities from the worlds of art, design and film.
“UAE nationals and expatriates alike are showing a keen interest not just in consuming fashion, design, and luxury goods and services, but also in the development of their own design and creative skills,” the statement said.
“One indication of this emergent trend is evidenced by rapid growth in enrolment rates on fashion and design courses at institutions in the UAE.
The talents of the UAE’s home-grown designers, from those who have already made their mark on the international stage to the stars of tomorrow, will be the vital spark driving this community.”
The new district seeks to increase the number of local and regional designers who are currently attaining international distribution and accolades.
The UAE also holds the second position in the 2011 Apparel Index, driven by a population with a high disposable income and immense fashion consciousness.
Dubai’s rapid growth in the areas of fashion, luxury and retail is typified by the success of The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and leisure destination, which welcomed 65 million visitors last year – more than the number of people who visited New York in 2012.
The Middle East luxury market saw growth of 10 to 15 percent from 2011 to 2012, establishing the region as the tenth largest luxury goods market globally. Dubai sits at the heart of this achievement.