In March 2019 – The Dubai Design & Fashion Council (DDFC), established by the Dubai Government to raise the profile of Dubai as a regional and global destination for design, and SRP Group, a Chinese trade development company, are announcing the winners of the DDFC/SRP Silk Road Design Competition.
Winners in the jewelry category include Joy Srour, a Lebanese designer won the first prize, followed by Anas Alomaim from Kuwait in second, and Tallaat Haddad, an upcoming talent from Jordan in third. Egyptian designer Mahmoud Gamal Abbas was awarded first prize for the homeware category, followed by Hajer Tenaiji, from UAE in second, and Jordanian Tarek Hreish in third.
Receiving over 40 applications from 14 nationalities, the DDFC/SRP Silk Road Design Competition invited emerging designers based in the MENA Region to propose homeware or jewelry collections, highlighting the Emirati and Arabic heritage in a contemporary fashion.
Winners were selected by a jury comprised of DDFC and SRP representatives, as well as prominent names of the design industry in the region, including Hani Asfour, Dean of the Dubai Institute for Design and Innovation (DIDI), Emirati jewelry designer Maryam Hassani, Co-founder and Principal Designer of 55FIFTY7 atelier, and industrial designer and consultant Michel Vandamme. They were joined by prestigious Chinese guests Professor Ma Gang and Professor Liu Bo from China Central Academy of Fine Arts.
Commenting on the jury panel, Jazia Al Dhanhani, Chief Executive Officer of DDFC, said “DDFC has always received strong support from the local and regional design industry, and we are most grateful for the time and dedication of our guest jury members. It was no easy task to select the winners among such great applications received.
The DDFC/SRP Silk Road Design Competition is yet another evidence of the increasingly prominent role of the creative industries in the cultural and economic development of Dubai and the wider region. DDFC is committed to continue fostering creative talent within this sector to promote its economic competitiveness through innovative thinking and community enrichment.”
She continued: “A key element for the development of a strong creative industry is the support from the private initiative, and we are grateful SRP Group has joined us in this endeavor, a first step in what we hope is the beginning of a fruitful and long-lasting relationship with our partners from China.”
Xu Jie, Chairman of SRP Group, commented, “We are happy to see Silk Road Design Competition accomplished its mission. Applications submitted provided an angle for us to get a feel of this region’s unique culture. We thank DDFC for its great supports in organizing and managing this competition. It won’t be possible without DDFC’s involvement.
SRP will work together with winners further to develop these concepts and hopefully turn some of them into commercial products to be sold into China and this region. In the backdrop of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, we are optimistic about future cooperation between Chinese companies and local designers to continue the tale of SILK ROAD. ”
In 2013, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued Decree No (23) determining the formation of the Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC), a member of the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA). Established in 2014, DDFC’s mandate is to raise the profile of Dubai as a regional and global destination for design and fashion, ensure the contribution of the creative industries to the sustainable development of the Emirate, stimulate trade and tourism, develop local talent, and attract companies operating in the fields of design and fashion to Dubai.
DDFC oversees, supports, promotes and drives initiatives related to 5 key design segments - Fashion Design, Product Design, Architecture, Interior Design, and Graphic Design.