Over 140 licenses granted for d3 site
More than 900 expressions of interest received since project launch
Dubai Design District (d3) has confirmed that over 140 licenses have been granted for businesses to move to the site, with over 40% of these from the MENA region.
Since its launch by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai in June 2013, d3 has received over 900 expressions of interest, beating expectations and laying the foundations of a genuine design industry.
Tecom Investments, the developer behind the project, also announced plans to unveil a number of high-profile international brands as the high level of interest in the project from prospective business partners continues.
Dr Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO at Tecom Investments, said: "As planned, d3 is attracting both interest and excitement from the design community in the region. We undertook extensive research and planning to ensure we create an environment that provides global brands better access to regional talent and the growing GCC markets, as well as being a platform to promote emerging talent internationally.
"This strategy, coupled with Tecom's track record in creating, operating and growing successful, industry-focused free zones in Dubai puts d3 in a strong position going forward."
Lindsay Miller, managing director of d3, said: "Our main ambition is for d3 to act as a catalyst for the region's design community by creating an environment where local design talent can grow into successful brands. To achieve this ambition, we have created a master plan that includes shared workspaces, galleries and workshops to expose emerging talent to the full value chain so they may interact, share and engage with key players from the design, fashion, luxury and art worlds.
"Designers from this region are making real strides in strengthening their presence in other markets and as 90% of countries in the world are just 8 hours flight time from Dubai, d3 is the perfect place for these discussions and partnerships to take place."
Tecom confirmed that licences have been awarded to businesses that range from regional and international organisations to local and regionally based small businesses and freelancers. This strategy is reinforcing d3's vision to bring together the established and the emerging design and creative community as a collaborative ecosystem.
d3 will help achieve Dubai's 2020 Vision of attracting 20mn visitors and AED300bn ($81.6bn) in tourism revenues per year. Once complete, d3 will be a world class creative community that promotes and nurtures emerging regional design talent, as well as providing a home to their global counterparts.
The first phase of d3, the AED4bn ($1bn) development of the 'core' of the 15.5mn ft2 site, including state of the art offices and workshop spaces, will be ready for tenants in the first quarter of 2015. This will be closely followed by the second phase of the development focussed on the creative community which will provide a dynamic environment that enhances their wellbeing and promotes creativity and innovation. Phase 3, to develop d3's waterfront area, to include new concepts in dining, retail and entertainment will provide visitors with dynamic activities and facilities.
The d3 site, located just minutes from Dubai Mall, will boast a 2km waterfront - longer than the length of Jumeirah Beach Walk. This will feature international and design led hotels, a pop up shop area, and an event space.
The property options on offer will include residential, commercial, retail and hospitality real estate, and the area will be characterised by distinct public spaces, unique street furniture, public art and shaded walkways.