Dubai’s d3 and Italian Interior Design Association ‘AIPi’ Forge Strategic Partnership to Strengthen UAE’s Creative Sector



Dubai, UAE, 28 November 2023: Dubai Design District (d3), a member of TECOM Group PJSC, has signed a strategic partnership agreement with AlPi (Associazione Italiana Professionisti Interior Design), the prestigious Italian Interior Design Association, to grow creative collaborations and strengthen Dubai’s position as a global hub for the design and creative industries and further cement its status as a UNESCO City of Design.


The agreement was attended by high-ranking officials, including HE Giuseppe Finocchario, Consul General of Italy; Ammar Al Malik, Executive Vice President of Commercial – TECOM Group; Antonio D.De Antonis, President of AIPi, Khadija AI Bastaki, Senior Vice President of d3 – TECOM Group; Anna Barbara, POLIdesign President; Daniele Agostinelli, Head of AIPi Quality Commission; Giorgio Baldantoni and Piertito Cardillo AIPi delegation.


Founded in Milan in 1969, AlPi has served as a key reference point in Italy for professionals in the field of interior design for more than 50 years. d3’s partnership with AIPi will further nurture Dubai’s design ecosystem, provide valuable resources, knowledge sharing and networking, and create opportunities for industry professionals and talent to thrive and flourish even more. It will also further raise the profile of Dubai’s creative ambitions by opening global creative corridors in key international markets.


Commenting on the partnership with AIPi, Khadija AI Bastaki, Senior Vice President of Dubai Design District (d3), part of TECOM Group, said: “In the heart of Dubai’s thriving creative economy, this partnership with the globally esteemed AIPi underscores the city’s position as a creative powerhouse. It embodies Dubai’s commitment to fostering design excellence and the interior design profession, advancing the ambitious Dubai Creative Economy Strategy, which is poised to double the creative industries’ impact on Dubai’s GDP by 2026. By creating new avenues for talent and businesses to expand their networks, audiences and collaborations, we hope to secure Dubai’s place among the world’s top three cities for creative, in line with the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, and demonstrate the emirate’s unwavering commitment to creativity and innovation.”


“d3 and AIPi will share valuable resources and insights, and create opportunities for interior design professionals to thrive. Our partnership will combine the creative energy of Dubai’s design and creative community with the rich heritage, legacy and expertise of Italian design, bridging global expertise and resources with the dynamic design scene in Dubai, a melting pot for the world’s top talent, creatives, and innovators.”


Antonio D. De Antonis, AIPi President, said: “The AIPi Italian Interior Design Association is regarded with a legacy that stretches back several decades. Its contribution to the evolution of interior design cannot be overlooked. The collaboration with d3 signifies a journey into the magnificent land of design possibilities, united by a mutual thirst for excellence.


“Dubai Design District stands tall as the focal point of artistry and innovation within the United Arab Emirates. Its emergence has served as a catalyst for creative brilliance, having attracted some of the biggest international design and fashion brands and studios alongside entrepreneurs and pioneers from across the globe. AIPi is tasked to look out for the interests and economic growth of Italian designers, which is why this new partnership with such an established creative ecosystem is a significant milestone for us and our members. Through this collaboration, we can expect a blossoming showcase of innovative techniques, where the traditional principles of Italian design made in Milan seamlessly integrate with the modern sensibilities found in Dubai. Such a merger holds immense potential, not only for the development of both cities but for the global design community as a whole.”


Following the signing ceremony, AIPi representatives undertook a tour through d3’s rich creative community, exploring Dubai Design Week and Downtown Dubai as well as visiting stakeholders at FAD Institute of Luxury Fashion and Style and the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) – two d3-based universities enabling a sustainable creative talent pool. As the region’s leading creative hub, d3 is home to local, regional, and international interior design companies and an exciting community of design and creative talent.


Fostering creativity and nurturing the design community


The strategic partnership between d3 and AIPi creates educational opportunities, be it online (dedicated design platform), in-person, or through exchange programmes.


The AIPi-POLIDESIGN (Politecnico di Milano) - Exchange Education Program is a transformative initiative that brings together the expertise of renowned Italian higher-level education with a platform for continuous learning and growth. It aims to establish partnerships with universities and schools, creating interactive and engaging curriculum modules that integrate Italian design principles, techniques and culture. This collaborative approach will ensure that design education remains dynamic and relevant in an ever-evolving industry. It serves as a testament to the AIPi's and d3’s commitment to excellence and their dedication to fostering an international community of design professionals.


Both sides will also explore joint activations such as design competitions and awards, the establishment of a joint design advisory committee to promote knowledge-sharing and collaboration on research initiatives. d3 and AIPi will contribute to growing the interior design sector’s possibilities and cultural significance by fostering awareness and appreciation for the profession at a local, regional and international scale and raising the bar of excellence.


AIPi’s new "Aroundesign" platform challenges the boundaries of life-long learning and networking in the design community. This program emphasises the importance of continuous education and recognises the significance of global collaboration in the pursuit of design excellence.


AIPi will establish a base at d3 to host exhibitions and temporary showcases and offer venues for d3 to host networking events in Italy, including design conferences and seminars with Italian designers. The association will further promote d3’s endeavours in Italy to raise awareness of its position as a global hub for creativity.


The agreement between d3 and AIPi is in line with the long-term goals of Dubai Creative Economy Strategy and Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33’ and will pave the way for d3 and AIPi to explore opportunities to strengthen Dubai’s creative ecosystem.


Dubai Design District (d3) is part of TECOM Group’s business district portfolio, including Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Science Park and Dubai Industrial City.


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