Designers, say hello to your new hub, in5 at d3
Dubai Design District (d3) COO Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi and Tecom Business Parks CEO during a tour of the in5 innovation centre at d3 on Sunday.
Dubai - New centre to act as a catalyst for supporting industry diversification
Designers across the Middle East and North Africa region, especially those specialising in the fashion, furniture and architecture segments, are well-positioned to make the most of the opportunities available to them in the near future, as Dubai gets ready to play host to a new initiative that will help achieve the region's $55 billion design potential.
The new in5 innovation centre, embedded within the thriving design community at Dubai Design District (d3), will be the third business incubator in the in5 network and will act as a catalyst for supporting industry diversification. Entrepreneurs, designers and students will benefit from a range of facilities, training, and business expertise as in5 outlines plans for January 2017 opening.
"Today with in5, we have created an ecosystem which thrives on innovation and creative thinking. in5 was first launched as we recognised a gap in industry resources catering to the specific needs of entrepreneurs setting up their businesses in Dubai to create impact across our region," Malek Al Malek, chief executive of Tecom Business Parks, said.
The in5 facility will also provide a unique prototyping lab, offering the latest equipment, including 3D printers, electronics and modern machinery for designers working with metals, wood, plastic and textiles.
Providing cutting-edge and specialised facilities at the new centre, in5 will also offer industry focused training and mentorship to its members, in addition to dynamic co-working spaces, offices, and community areas that are designed to inspire creativity.
Members will also have access to a dedicated library of raw materials and design workstations to help develop their concepts into prototypes with the support of mentors and experts in the field of design.
"Having started with technology, in5 has evolved to supporting start-ups in the media sector and now with our entry into design, we will aid in setting a new benchmark in creativity," Al Malek said.
Ushering in a new era
The UAE's ambition to pioneer a new era of innovation has set the nation on its next stage of growth, leading to the creation of a world-class diversified economy with Dubai being prominent amongst global business friendly destinations.
In line with this, the Dh4.5 billion Innovation Strategy of Tecom Group was established to foster ecosystems which are founded on access to smart infrastructure to enable the development of start-ups and talent, resulting in the creation of dynamic business communities in the future.
"Mentoring the creative community is a key part of d3's vision and through in5, we see our vision becoming a reality, supporting the design and fashion industry through offering students, entrepreneurs and new businesses the opportunity to transform their ideas into successful commercial ventures," Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, COO of Dubai Design District, said.
Analysts on Sunday also revealed that 91 per cent of the design market in the Mena region is driven by the fashion, furniture, and architecture segments.
Referring to Mena Design Outlook 2015 report, they said the growth of the design market globally has been estimated at 3.7 per cent from 2010-13, boosted by urbanisation, a rise in population, increase in disposable income for design-led products and a boom in high net worth individuals.
"In the Mena region, the design industry is gaining grounds: its market value has overpassed $100 billion in 2014 and it has grown at more than double the pace of the global industry over the last four years," it said.
According to the report, the Mena design market constitutes over 4.5 per cent of the global design market.
In addition, the Mena design market is estimated to be worth $129.2 billion by 2017, and is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.8 per cent to reach $147.5 billion in 2019.
With an average growth of six per cent, the Mena design industry will grow at twice the pace of the global design sector and by 2019, its contribution to the global design sector will reach 5.2 per cent.
All in all, the Mena region's outlook is very positive, and the sector's growth is expected to continue outperforming the global design industry.
Dubai Design District (d3) COO Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi and Tecom Business Parks CEO during a tour of the in5 innovation centre at d3 on Sunday. — Photos by Dhes Handumon