Smart Fashion

Dubai Design District

As Dubai continues to position its economy around tourism, the city has already achieved a strong position in terms of its retail sector and has become a prominent shopping destination […]

As Dubai continues to position its economy around tourism, the city has already achieved a strong position in terms of its retail sector and has become a prominent shopping destination on the world map. Dubai has been able to capitalize on its strategic location and has combined this with a strong investment climate that is able to lure the biggest brands on earth. In 2014, Dubai was ranked only second after London in terms of the presence of international retail brands. With this, Dubai has become a vibrant shopping destination that is only expected to broaden its appeal. In 2014, Dubai retail sales were approximately $41.5 billion with the expectation that this will grow 5% in 2015 to reach $43.7 billion and, over the next seven years, reach $55.7 billion. Despite these achievements, Dubai is looking not only to capitalize on the creativity of international designers, but also facilitate creativity within the city itself with its Dubai Design District (D3) project.

Unveiled by TECOM Investments in September 2014 at Cityscape Global, D3 aims to become the cornerstone of creativity in the Emirate through the its established free zone model. The 21 million square foot master plan with a 1.8km waterfront destination will offer an ecosystem for global design and creative minds by bringing local talent and international luxury brands together. D3 will offer a vibrant business zone featuring office space for the design, fashion, and luxury sectors with capacity for over 10,000 workers and host a dedicated creative community of 4,000 designers, craftspeople, and innovators. It will also facilitate visitors by offering more than 4,000 hotel rooms including luxury, four-star boutique hotels, as well as furnished apartments. D3 also aims to become a shopping experience for visitors with over 2.5 million sqf of retail space. Importantly, the entire atmosphere of D3 focuses on Dubai’s art scene through a fusion of high-end galleries, pop-up showcases, and open-air installation spaces, workshops, and studios.

Reduction of energy consumption is one of the key pillars in the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, and d3’s utilization of energy efficient district cooling falls in line with this goal. Empower, the world’s largest district cooling services provider, formalized an agreement in May 2014 with D3 to provide district cooling to the d3 developments in a contract worth just over $204 million. As of March 2015, Empower has thus completed Phase I of the network, which commenced operation in November 2014 and will provide the d3 project with 10,000 refrigeration tons (RT). Upon total completion, Empower’s network will include a 120,000 RT capacity for the complex and will represent approximately 12% of the company’s total cooling portfolio.
Launched in 2014, Dubai aims to become a smart city and a leader in the utilization and integration of ICT services throughout the city. With this, D3 represents the greenfield pilot site of Dubai’s smart city project. Upon D3’s completion, the community will showcase a range of cutting-edge ICT elements designed to enhance the user experience. It was recently revealed, in March 2015, that IT firm Cisco was awarded the contract to provide advisory and consultancy-led services for the D3 project. Under the deal, Cisco will provide an ICT master plan for the district utilizing the company’s smart and connected city solutions. Through its development, D3 expects to launch 130 initiatives.

D3 is an important step in more than one direction. The D3 project aims to facilitate the interaction between international designers and local talent in order to foster local creativity. Through this objective, D3 will also be implementing ICT technologies in line with Dubai’s smart city initiative. The D3 project embodies the importance of the utilization of energy-efficient cooling in order to be a key contributor to targets of reducing energy consumption.