A continuously growing design community in Qatar will help achieve the Doha Design District, Msheireb’s aim of becoming a design hub in the region, according to Qatari designer and the District’s manager, Shaikha al-Sulaiti.
The District, located at the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project, was designed to be a vibrant hub and cultural destination for local and international designers.
“We do have a robust, really good designers, the design community here is growing and it is continuously growing and there is a lot of talent for sure, there’s a lot of creativity,” al-Sulaiti said. “I can see a lot of hardwork, also with the younger generation and I do believe that this will help us towards our vision which is to become the regional design hub.”
She noted that the District’s ground floor highlights luxury retail, focusing mainly on furniture and lighting for its interiors. It also has some offerings and activations on luxury fashion, which are currently taking place and runs until the end of the year.
While the ground floor was built to promote luxury international brands aimed at raising awareness on the importance of quality and design, al-Sulaiti said the first floor, which has 3D printing facilities, is dedicated more towards makerspace.
She said the District is also set to be the main hub for the design activities relating to the fifth edition of the month-long Shop Qatar, the first major event taking place in the country in 18 months.
According to Shop Qatar organisers, a fashion show will put a spotlight on the creations of New York -based fashion designer Naeem Khan while a trunk show will display creations and unique pieces of Bollywood celebrity designer Maneesh Malhotra.
The District will also host exclusive activations such as pop-up shops as part of the Shop Qatar Design Week, taking place from October 3 to 9 from 3pm to 10pm. Apart from international designers, the event will see local entrepreneurs showcasing their designs; an array of food and beverage offerings; workshops; and other creative initiatives.
Al-Sulaiti noted that the District has unique features and offerings over the Doha Fire Station: the former is more towards interior and fashion but can also include art activities while the latter heavily focuses on art.
“We are planning to have collaborations with different artists, either for murals or different exhibitions that we can host together so the Doha Design District is really dedicated to the creative community, we are not really focusing on one specific specialisation but more towards who is interested in arts and designs,” she said.
Al-Sulaiti added that the District will hold several activities until year-end, as well as its launch event in the first quarter of 2022.
About the art scene in Doha, she said it has been booming over the past few years: “I do believe that Doha is the leader in the art world in the region and we do have the right elements to make this also the regional design hub which is our main mission as well.”
“We have a very strong programme that will be focusing mainly on educating both the public and the design community to the international level that the brands currently work towards. So we have a lot of things that we are planning and it’s all very exciting,” al-Sulaiti said.