The four-day Design Days Dubai in March was a great debut show, according to its exhibitors. It was the first fair in the Middle East and South Asia dedicated to collectible and limited-edition design and drew 22 galleries from around the world.
Through a series of seminars, talks, workshops, panel discussions and interactive sessions held during the fair, Design Days Dubai aimed to drive growth in the region by making it a destination for the design industry. It offered emerging designers and students an unprecedented opportunity to interact and learn from some of the most respective names in the field; the education program attracted 400 participants.
“Design Days Dubai was a great incentive to bring design awareness to the community. It also created a dialogue between the galleries and the Arab world, which was not available before. It also gives incentive to young aspiring designers to aim at quality workmanship and concepts in design,” said Beirut-based designer Nada Debs, one of the fair’s Patrons.
Some strong sales were reported among the exhibiting galleries, including Nakkash Gallery, which nearly sold all they were showing. “For us, Vito Selma’s designs were the most popular, along with Peter Boonsermsuwong’s Sheep. A British art collector purchased the Geo console table by Vito Selma ($4,000) and two white sheep ($2,800). An Indian couple bought the Thera Chair ($3,000) by Wataru Sakuma and the Geo coffee table ($3,800 ) by Selma,” said Aya Nakkash of Nakkash Gallery.
Jinny Chung of Gallery Seomi said, "We were happy to sell two of the six editions we have of Korean designer's Myung-Sun Kang's 'Mermaid Bench' ($55,000) to a very significant collector in Dubai."
Zesty Meyers, of New York's R20th Century, the only US gallery that participated, said: "The inaugural Design Days Dubai was a fantastic experience for us. Our contemporary designers David Wiseman and Jeff Zimmerman (whose Vine Illuminated Sculptures are pictured below) sold particularly well. In fact, all of our sales were to new clients, from all over the world, who were very interested in what we are doing at our gallery."
Diane de Polignac, of the Parisian gallery of the same name, said, "Dubai was a very exciting experience both in sales and on a cultural level--it was great to explore this major cultural center. I am definitely looking forward to coming back next year with the latest creations of my artists!"