Launched by the Dubai Design & Fashion Council, the DDFC Membership has been announced as a platform that connects the local creative community and supports UAE-based designers with development programmes and business support initiatives. Encouraging designers to participate in local and international events and awards ceremonies, the membership system will further strengthen the UAE’s design industry by creating a more accessible network.

“We’re launching the DDFC Membership to drive the creation of a leading pool of talent that will become the next generation of global designers and lead to the growth of Dubai’s design industry,” says Amina Al Rustamani, DDFC’s chairperson.

“This vision to develop the industry is aligned with the Dubai Plan 2021.” Established under a mandate from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Design & Fashion Council looks to nurture a sustainable design industry in Dubai, while recognising designers based in other emirates as well as the greater Middle East.

Those eligible to become members should work in one of the five key segments, including architecture, fashion, graphic design, interior design and product design. And while its main features place a strong focus on talent development, the membership will offer professional experience to designers via access to business opportunities. The programme is open to designers at any stage in their career, from students to established professionals.

“The MENA Design Outlook study revealed that the design sector is still a predominantly import-oriented industry,” adds Al Rustamani, “where locally produced design goods and services account for approximately 35 percent of the total market size… This further reinforces the value that the DDFC Membership will bring to the region’s creative community, paving the way in making Dubai the emerging design capital of the world.”