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Cairo Selected As This Year's Dubai Design Week's Iconic City

Inspired by the Egyptian capital's many arrested developments, Cairo Now! City Incomplete will showcase the talents of the city's prolific design scene.

Cairo has been selected as the subject of Dubai Design Week's Iconic City exhibition which showcases the culture and design scene of Middle Eastern and North African cities, reports Cairobserver. 

The event will be held under the patronage of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), and sponsored by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Dubai Design & Fashion Council, and Audi.

Curated by Cairo-based architect, writer, and researcher Mohamed El Shahed, this year's edition will see over 65 Egyptian architects, designers, entrepreneurs, and graphic designers participate. 

“Following the huge success of Beirut as Iconic City in 2015, it’s a great attribute to be able to discover and explore another great Middle Eastern city, Cairo. D3 has worked very closely with some of the pioneers of Cairo’s creative scene, including jewellery designer Azza Fahmy, and so we are delighted that this year’s Iconic City will unveil more of what the city has to offer,” d3 CEO Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi commented.

Inspired by Cairo's unfinished business, the theme of incompleteness captures the city's many arrested developments and unkept promises from transportation restructuring to buildings that are perpetually under construction - a common sight in the Egyptian capital and its outskirts. 

“Cairo Now! sheds light on the city’s emerging designers who, despite the lack of a marketplace or an infrastructure supporting their practices, continue to innovate, to turn the city’s trash into new products and revive fading traditions with a contemporary edge. They always take Cairo with all its flaws as their muse and as the source of their creativity. The city’s zeitgeist is reflected in their often satirical take on the absurdities that make up contemporary Cairo,” El Shahed said of the exhibition.