Alia Hassan Al Mur
The driver behind the new retail pop-ups at The Dubai Mall
© ITP Images
• I wanted to promote talented local designers and provide a stepping-stone to help them develop their businesses. Design 971 at The Dubai Mall, which sits under the Emaar umbrella, is a way of facilitating this.
• The pop-up units carry six collections at any one time for a duration of six months, and Emaar helps to merchandise their displays and provides them with support, for a nominal fee.
• A lot of the brands have come to us through Dubai Design and Fashion Council, and we have been privileged to have its support via its CEO, Nez Gebreel, who has given feedback to our designers.
• I see Design 971 very much as an incubator, and it has generated media interest for our fledgling brands. These have included House of Fatam, Amongst Few, Reemami, All Things Mochi, Elena Burba and Osaymi from the arenas of art, fashion and furniture.
• I’ve realised that the main impediment to people reaching their true potential is that they underestimate their capabilities. I also learnt that your career is not merely behind your desk, but that your social life is an extension of your professional life.
• It was a great moment when we launched the first batch of designers for Design 971. The feasibility of this project and all the other intricacies have been with me since my first year at this company.