The launch of Design Doha, under the leadership of Qatar Museums (QM) chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, witnessed a roster of special events and exhibition premieres, attracting some 22,000 visitors throughout the week.

Led by artistic director Glenn Adamson, Design Doha's opening week commenced on February 24 with events taking place at Msheireb, a creative neighbourhood that nurtures collaboration, creativity, and innovation.
The launch of Design Doha's exhibitions, activations, installations, and programmes played a crucial role in further activating the district as an artistic hub, attracting creative tourists, designers, and artists from across Qatar.

Present among them were notable figures such as Franck Millot, director of Paris Design Week; Qatari-businessman Wissam al-Mana; and co-director of Zaha Hadid Architects, Woody Zao.

The inaugural week of Design Doha culminated with a gala dinner and prize giving ceremony on February 28 at Barahat Msheireb, which was opened by prominent Qatari architect Ibrahim al-Jaidah.

During the ceremony, Fabraca Studios, Fadaa, Sayar & Garibeh, and Abeer Seikaly were each awarded the Design Doha Prize–an initiative established to provide recognition and support for exceptional designers in the categories of product design, interior design, furniture design, and craft. The winners were selected among almost 600 applicants.

Looking back at the success of opening week, Fahad al-Obaidly, head of Programmes, deputy director of Programmes and Partnerships for the Design Doha Biennial, said: “Design Doha is already proving its purpose as a dedicated platform for cultivating creativity and design excellence, providing creatives and institutions with a space to showcase their designs and ideas. By attracting international attention and facilitating collaborations within the design community, the biennial is poised to stimulate various sectors of Qatar's economy, including tourism, hospitality, and creative industries. We are proud of what the initiative has achieved in its inaugural edition and are incredibly excited to see what the future holds.”

Highlights of Design Doha opening week included the opening of several exhibitions. The anchor exhibition, Arab Design Now, a regional survey of more than 70 Arab designers featuring 38 commissioned works opened at M7 and will run until August 5, as well as five additional exhibitions which remain open until March 30.

These exhibitions are Colours of the City: A Century of Architecture in Doha (open until April 30); Weaving Poems (open until April 30); 100/100 Hundred Best Arabic Posters Round 04 (open until August 5); Crafting Uzbekistan: Tradition in Threads (open until March 30), and Cultural Kinship (open until March 30).

Three commissioned works were unveiled, Desert by Amine El Gotaibi (The Ned Doha), Doha Dragon by Joris Laarman (Msheireb), and Afterimage of the Beginning by Choi Byung Hoon (National Museum of Qatar).

The unveiling of Design Doha exhibitions and installations coincided with the launch of the Design Doha Forum, the headline programming event for Design Doha which welcomed 62 industry experts from around the world to share their experience and knowledge in the field of design.
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