Dubai to open a design school within 4 years

Move by the Dubai Design and Fashion Council will address the fundamental industrial gap needed in its fashion scene
Dubai to open a design school within 4 years
Members of the Dubai Design and Fashion Council unveil plans to establish a design school in the region within the next four years.
By Salma Awwad
Mon 27 Oct 2014 09:23 AM

The Dubai Design and Fashion Council was recently created with a goal of starting a design school in the region within the next four years.

The council is chaired by Dr Ameenah Al Rustamani, group CEO of Tecom Investments, the company developing the Dubai Design District (d3). Laila Suhail, the CEO at Dubai Festival and Retail Establishments, the organisation behind Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises, will act as vice chairperson. Nez Gebreel, the founder of Noon Arts Gallery, who was instrumental in helping Victoria Beckham kick-start her fashion career, will be the CEO.

"Dubai has already made a huge impact in terms of retail and distribution in this part of the world," Gebreel, the new chief executive officer of the DDFC, told trade publication Women's Wear Daily (WWD).

"Now we would like to raise the level of competitiveness of our own designers. Education is a major component in the framework we are building."

With luxury demand in the region increasing, a royal decree was put out in August from Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, to start the council.

"Dubai's design initiative requires grassroots action," DDFC board member Ali Jaber, told WWD. Jaber currently acts as dean of communication and information studies at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Communication at American University of Dubai.

"Education is the foremost tool that can establish solid foundations for a sustainable design industry."

Over the past year, senior officials from design schools in the US and Europe have made visits to the region. Additionally, University of the Arts London's College of Fashion has been offering short courses in Dubai.

The DDFC first aims to start attracting fashion and design companies to locate to Dubai, create tourist attractions and help find and develop local fashion designers.

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