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Nada Debs’ design lover’s guide to Dubai

Forever championing human creativity

Beirut-based designer Nada Debs can often be found in Dubai – a city she loves for its energy and optimism. As we celebrate Curio’s launch in the Middle East, Nada gives us a whistlestop tour of her favourite design-led destinations across the emirate.

‘The cosmopolitan aspect of Dubai is so evident and it reminds me of how I was brought up in Japan, among so many nationalities and cultures,’ says Nada, whose work is informed by her experiences of living and travelling around the world.

Nada Debs, Dubai - Body Image 3 Nada Debs creates contemporary products, furniture and interiors that celebrate Eastern craft and design. The Marquetry Drum tables shown here are made in Lebanon from the finest American walnut.

‘I like that people are excited to do new projects and be creative and I feel that this is where the opportunities lie,’ she continues. ‘The population is young and this brings a lot of hope in a world that is now facing a lot of difficulties. The openness of new ideas is something that pushes one’s creativity forward.’

In the past decade, Dubai has reinvented itself as an important design hub that serves as a gateway from the Middle East to the world. The city hosts an established art fair and an annual design week in its growing, purpose-built design district. In recent years, Nada has set up a home and studio in the city that she runs in addition to her flagship showroom and studio in Beirut, Lebanon.

Nada Debs, Dubai - Body Image 6 Nada Debs’ showroom and studio in Beirut, Lebanon.

‘There is still room [in Dubai] to educate people about the value of craft and how it defines culture and identity; [to show] that crafted objects stand the test of time and go up in value, not only financially but emotionally as well,’ Nada explains. ‘People [in Dubai] are willing to see and touch and feel and understand and appreciate.’

The Shop

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Comptoir 102: a macrobiotic restaurant and cool concept store that carries furniture, accessories and jewellery. Founded and run by two French women, this place has a relaxed, Bohemian edge.

102 Beach Rd, Jumeirah, Jumeirah 1, Dubai

The Brand

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Montroi: for those that love to travel, this is a beautiful scent and accessories brand that celebrates the nomadic lifestyle.

Dubai Design District, Building 3, Dubai

The Gallery

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Alserkal Avenue: a place and a community where art galleries gather together mixed with restaurants, ceramics workshops and spaces for wellbeing.

17th St, Al Quoz, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1, Dubai

The Cafe

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Cafe Otaku: based in the city’s Design District, this Japanese-style cafe has a minimalist interior by local practice Veena Siddharth Design Studio.

Dubai Design District, Dubai

The Restaurant

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The Grey: a sleek restaurant/cafe with a minimalist aesthetic. ​​

9 A St, Al Wasl, Al Safa 1, Dubai

The Hotel

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Edition Hotel: a luxury hotel that is unintimidating and elegant in design.

Dubai Fountain St, Downtown Dubai, Dubai

The Studios

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Tashkeel: a nurturing art facility that supports the growth of contemporary art and design practices in the UAE.

Tashkeel, Nad Al Sheba 1, Dubai

Explore Nada Debs's Work

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