Ahead of the launch of Project Runway Middle East – with couturier Elie Saab and model Afef Jnifen in the judges’ seats and model Jessica Kahawaty taking on the Heidi Klum presenting role, as aspiring fashion designers vie for success at the grand finale, which will take place at Dubai Design District – the Dubai Design & Fashion Council has stressed the need for more design education in the emirate.
According to the MENA Design Education Outlook report, the design industry in the region is predicted to grow by 6 per cent a year over the next five years, reaching Dhs202 billion by 2019. The report estimates that the region will need 30,000 design graduates in disciplines such as architecture, fashion and interior design to support this growth. This equates to a nine-fold increase in the number of design graduates currently being produced. The creative industries account for around 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in this region, compared to around 6 per cent in more developed markets, so it’s no wonder the government is urging Dubai’s next generation of fashion creatives to have their scissors at the ready. - Louise Nichol