On Sunday, 9th October 2016, the third edition of Saudi Design Fair, hosted at the Al Faisaliah Resort and Spa in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia drew to a close following a highly successful four-day run.
The country’s only dedicated design fair opened on October 6th and welcomed visits from over 300 royals, members of the diplomatic corps, and other local and foreign dignitaries over the five day event.
There were over 30 visits from a wide array of entertainment and social media influencers, such as Adwa Al Dakheel, Feras Bugna, Yousef al Sudais, Faisal Sheraiff, Sarah Al Wadaani, Muna Abu Suliman and Hassan Ghunaim who reached out to a combined reach of over 4.5 million followers across a variety of platforms.
In partnership with renowned jewellery maison Van Clef & Arpels, patrons themselves of the burgeoning creative talents in the region, Saudi Design Week furthered their commitment to design talents in the third edition.
“During Saudi Design Week, Van Cleef & Arpels was happy to welcome imaginative minds to embark on a journey through the savoir-faire, whilst honouring the Master Jewellers,” said Alessandro Maffi, Managing Director of Van Cleef & Arpels, Middle East & India.
The event is one of the key highlights in Saudi Arabia’s visual creative scene, and the initiative spearheaded by Oasis Magazine continues to provide a platform for regional and local discourse on design and creative visual culture.
“We focus on not only supporting local design talent, but also bring designers to further engage the design and creative community in Saudi Arabia. We want to help set foundations for a local design scene and help promote the genuine talent of the country,” said Basma Bouzo, co-founder of Saudi Design Week.
Exhibiting designers also reported strong interest over the course of the fair and a development of interest in the local scene.
Dubai-based Saudi product designer Ayah Al Bitar said, “I design to solve problems; I design to create new problems. I design to communicate. Saudi Design Week was a great platform for me to depict exactly what I want to do with the Saudi society.”
Regional collaboration was also highlighted at Saudi Design Week, demonstrating the importance of the Fair as a platform, first time exhibitors Nada Abdalla and Maria Dermosessian from Bilarabic from the Lebanese International University, Saida Campus said, “The energy in Saudi Design Week is so excellent with people really interested in enhancing ideas and collaborating.”
The unique blend of emerging talent and global design brands meant that Saudi Design Week is one of the best places to discover forward thinking and inspiring trends around the 2016 theme of Illumination, both literally and figuratively.
In addition to the public program and workshops, the fair’s only focused on outreach programs welcoming school and university groups from Riyadh in efforts to further engage the local community on design and visual cultural.