Hundreds of design professionals came together to support an organisation that funds sustainable safe water and sanitation projects. Surge’s Design, Dine, Make a Difference gala dinner was held on 7 December at The Address, Dubai Marina hotel.

The gathering was also the finale of a competition challenging interior designers to create bookcases made almost entirely of recycled materials. They were tasked with creating a bookcase using recycled materials for the nonprofit group’s annual competition and many brought their building partners onboard to help them realise their ideas.

Laila Al-Yousuf, an award-winning senior interior designer at Perkins+Will, said: “I thought that instead of donating money or attending a networking event, it would resonate with my peers far more if we had to donate what we value most about ourselves – our creativity.”

A number of Dubai firms have been involved in the challenge in recent years, including Allen Architecture Interiors Design, Arcology International, Art Plus 971 and Bluehaus.