Community Guide: Dubai Design District (D3)
Dubai Design District, or D3, as commonly referred to, is fast becoming the epicenter of social activities in Dubai. The vibrant neighborhood is a place for all the innovators and abstract thinkers to converge and give birth to revolutionary ideas. Because of its uniqueness, the district is also used extensively for concerts, art shows, and cultural exhibitions.
Developed by the TECOM Group, D3 has a surreal and Avant Garde feel to it – with the surrounding infrastructure a testament to that. The neighborhood is located near Downtown, Palm Jumeirah, and Dubai International Airport – with public buses taking people to and from the district.
1. Community Overview
The idea of D3 was conceived when Dubai’s real estate was booming - the concept was to develop a community that centers on creative expression and multi-cultural activities. Situated relatively on the fringes of Dubai, the district is divided into three phases. The first phase was developed and unveiled in 2015; featuring 11 mid-rise buildings with more than 1000 office and 100 retail units.
Phase 2 is still under development and will feature the essence of the district – places such as studios, workshops, theaters, cultural centers, showrooms and community centers; where creative people can utilize their skills to the fullest. The 3rd Phase will feature Creekside; in addition to hospitality and leisure options in the shape of acclaimed hotels, upscale restaurants and vibrant nightclubs.
Since Phase 1 is fully developed, all the basic necessities are available nearby. For groceries, the All Day Gourmet in Building 1 can be reached easily. The minimart carries all essential everyday items in stock. A little further down Business Bay and Downtown, one can shop at F Mart at DAMAC Towers, West Zone Fresh Supermarket at Fairview Residency, and Spinneys at West South Ridge, Business Bay.
Allday and Spinneys in particular are popular for stocking organic and fresh products; including sandwiches, ice-creams, vegetables and fruits. The catch is except Allday, the rest of the marts are reachable using the Dubai Mall or Business Bay Metro Stations.
It comes as no surprise that D3 is home to Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation; offering Bachelor of Design (BDes) degree. The program is meticulously designed to include workshops and hands-on learning to enable students to carve their own path. The university is located in Building 4. In Building 2, is Blossom Nursery, which is highly rated in Dubai. The nursery is convenient for parents to drop their kids on their way to work and pick them up in the afternoon. What’s unique about this nursery is that it appoints qualified nurses and pediatricians to help kids learn the fundamental aspects of life and education.
There are quite a few schools nearby D3, including JSS Private School, Hartland International School and Swiss International Scientific School. All 3 schools enjoy a high reputation in Dubai; which is highlighted by the fact that all 3 schools offer admission based on a competitive exam. JSS is located in Al Wasl, 9 minutes away. Hartland International is at a drive of 9 minutes and is situated in MBR City; while Swiss International Scientific School is 14 minutes away in Al Jaddaf.
D3 is surrounded by international standard healthcare facilities. Most of the healthcare centers are reachable in 10-15 minutes. Emirates Hospital and Clinic is capable of taking cases related cardiology, dermatology, dentistry, ENT, obstetrics and gynaecology, internal medicine, physiotherapy, pediatrics, and general medicine.
Safa Clinic meanwhile provides services in dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, and has a radiography unit. It is also a cost-effective option. Latifa Women and Children Hospital is recognized as one of the largest maternity and children’s hospitals in the UAE.
3. The Neighborhood
Properties in Dubai Design District
Designated as a free zone, D3 offers extremely favorable business environment. D3 enjoys all the perks of a free zone; including full ownership of the company, and 100% repatriation of capital and profits. This is in line with Dubai government’s initiative to welcome and retain talent.
As far as properties are concerned, they are divided into co-working spaces, showrooms and retail outlets. The buildings that are completely furnished offer ultra-modern facilities; such as, high speed internet connectivity, exquisite options in the pantry, and sophisticated interior décor. The offices are available to companies as a whole or as co-working spaces. The latter in particular are ideal for freelancers working in design, fashion or DIY.
The highlight of D3 is undeniably its leisure options. Only a stroll along the pedestrian pavement affords one mesmerizing views of the district. Another notable landmark that lie in proximity to Design District include Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary; which is a free for all sanctuary abundant in various species of plants and animals.
For fans of art, the Dubai Opera is one not to miss. Located in Downtown, the opera regularly hosts internationally acclaimed artists for musical orchestrations, performances, standups and more. For lovers of sea, the Kite Beach is not too far away. At a drive of just 15 minutes, Kite Beach offers people to unwind and partake in activities such as kayaking, kite surfing, and parasailing. The beach also provides access to the Jumeirah Beach, which is considered to be one of the most frequented beaches in the UAE.
Hotels & Hangout Spots
D3 is home to some of the most unconventional albeit flavorsome restaurants in UAE. Offering delectable food is one, the eateries are also popular spots for people to hang out. The most famous of the lot include The Lighthouse, Sky 2.0, and Vicolo.
As of now, there are no hotels in D3, but nearby areas such as, Downtown and Business Bay have plenty of world class hotels to stay in. Some of the famous ones include Paramount Hotel, Doubletree by Hilton Dubai and JW Marriott Marquis Hotel. All these hotels can easily be reached via public buses.
Since there are no metro stations that operate out of the area, Dubai Design District has one bus stop; called the Dubai Design District Bus Stop, which serves routes D03 and D03A. Getting on these buses take you to Dubai Mall as well as the surrounding metro stations.