In pictures: Dubai Design District master plan

The first compressive ecosystem dedicated solely to design talents and creative minds.
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Dubai Design District (d3) is the first compressive ecosystem dedicated solely to design talents and creative minds. But industry focused developments can either be high risk or the best way to captivate a demanded audience. Here we take a closer look at how TECOM Investments is striking all the right cords.
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If you went to Alserkal last week on its open galleries night you would witness Dubai’s artistic scene at its best. There is a glaring quest for a genuinely creative hub, where local talent is put in the spotlight in an organic and inspiring way.
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It’s in the zeitgeist; people are seeking elevated experiences that appeal to the senses rather than the grandiose display which has been overwhelming the city’s skyline, and d3’s goal is to seamlessly combine both elements.
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During the three day Cityscape exhibition, d3’s master plan marveled with promises of a 1.8km Waterfront featuring design-led (a.k.a boutique) hotels, retail outlets and entertainment venues. A business zone featuring office space for over 10,000 workers, a dedicated creative community to house 4,000 designers, over 2.5 million square feet of retail space spread across the community and low-rise apartments offering easy access to the heart of the District.
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d3’s effort to cultivate a creative safe haven is a stroke of genius. But how can they ensure that the local budding talents don’t get overwhelmed by the multi-national? How are they going to guarantee bringing in the grassroots local designers that are going to be able to afford to stay?
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“If you look at artistic communities that emerging designers move into around the world, you see that these people are influencers,” says Lindsay Miller, Managing Director of D3, \n“They actually start driving up the value of the neighborhoods around them. So it makes sense for us to maintain one area at a low cost which accessible for these designers. However, around them, you can then have the more premium brands.”
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“If you look at artistic communities that emerging designers move into around the world, you see that these people are influencers,” says Lindsay Miller, Managing Director of D3, \n“They actually start driving up the value of the neighborhoods around them. So it makes sense for us to maintain one area at a low cost which accessible for these designers. However, around them, you can then have the more premium brands.”
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The current 11 building structure being built is where the big brands will go and delivery dates start in January 2015. As for the creative community space called G+1, were the filtration mechanism is in place, delivery dates are set for 2017 that will integrate both office and residential spaces.
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If d3 delivers on its promises, it will be the first development that successfully creates “work and play” hybrid, where residential units are woven throughout the office, retail and entertainment spaces to maintain a buzzing energy 24/7.
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This idea initially came from TECOM Investments collaboration with creative communities. And when they say they are taking all suggestions into consideration, they are not kidding. The amalgamation of all the feedback is what led to the evolution of the initial the master plan, seen above, into much more than just another business district.
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“Our creative communities also told us that they wanted d3 to be a full lifestyle experience, so d3 will be alive both day and night, offering a vibrant atmosphere with edgy boutiques, entertainment and retail concepts, and the kind of credible, cutting-edge creative events more often found in London, New York, Paris and Milan,” says Dr Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO of TECOM Investments.
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The evolution of d3 will be driven by the community who will live, work and play there, its characteristics will be shaped by a population for whom the pursuit of creativity is a passion and their environment is yet another canvas upon which to make their mark.
Wed 24 Sep 2014 12:47 PM GST