Design industry worth more than $100bn to MENA region

Dr Amina Al Rustamani, Chairperson of DDFC, delivers keynote address at ...

The creative sector is driving the economic growth and innovation of the Middle East according to a study released at the start of Dubai Design Week.

Dubai Design and Fashion Council has revealed the results of the MENA Design Outlook, a report which highlights the impact of the design sector on finance and in driving new cultural and technological outlooks.

In the presence of HH Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, the study findings were announced on the first day of Dubai Design Week.


The MENA Design Outlook was commissioned to examine the design landscape across the MENA region with a focus on five major countries which are key contributors to the region’s design sector – UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, and Lebanon.

The research findings demonstrated the vast potential, depth and progressive growth rate of the MENA design industry.

The market value of the design industry in the MENA region surpassed $100bn in 2014 and is expected to continue expanding at an average growth rate of 6% twice the pace of the global design sector.

The study also found that the UAE and Saudi Arabia are by far the largest overall design markets in the region.

Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, chairperson of DDFC (pictured), said:  “Our wise leadership is committed to providing new prospects of development and progress in order to drive innovations that will unleash the potential of our youth and reinforce the UAE’s goal to occupy leading ranks regionally and internationally.

“Undoubtedly, the UAE plays a vital and leading role and is committed to supporting other countries in the region and contribute, in various ways, to its development and prosperity. We at the Dubai Design and Fashion Council are constantly striving to provide the necessary platforms to develop the design sector and foster up and coming talent in Dubai and the region.”

Nez Gebreel, CEO of DDFC said, “As a prominent voice within the design community with a region-wide perspective, we need to set the tone, drive conversation and use our influence to create opportunities with key stakeholders in Dubai and across the region.”


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