What better time than sunset to come together and share a meal? This year’s annual Dubai Iftar dinner was set in a very special location. The religious tradition and observance of breaking the fast after a long day during Ramadan were, as always, a great occasion to invite friends and colleagues from the design community in the Middle East to a treat and a celebration. The Dubai Opera with its extremely complex façade design was completed in the summer of 2016. The building and the district around it designed by Janus Rostock of Atkins Global and developed by Emaar Properties PJSC – the same company that developed Burj Khalifa – marks a new construction era and social consciousness in Dubai. The architect said about the project that ‘it is rare to fully integrate a building in its context’. The architecture of the Dubai Opera invites for a city experience, more social and cultural interaction, and the surrounding elude a creative, slow-paced air. On the evening of 29 May 2018, guests of the Kohler Dubai Iftar dinner certainly could feel this vibe while walking up to the stunning entrance of the opera house. The building not only serves as a home for world-class performing arts and music, theater, and concerts but also has the flexibility to welcome other types of events. The adaptable flat floor banquet hall of the dhow-shaped building was transformed into a tale and vision of the Arabian desert and nights. The beautiful blue-hued lighting, the soft live classical Arabic melodies, the cultural accents, and delicious foods prepared by famous Australian and New Zealand chef Sean Connolly’s team underlined the festive atmosphere where 140 designers, architects, associates, and friends shared a meal, a chat, and a good time. It was an absolute delight to welcome so many designers from well-known companies and firms who help shape the modern Dubai and the region. Among them was also Isabel Pintado who shared her views on design trends with us earlier this year at KBIS. The Iftar dinner always concludes with some gifts for the parting guests. The Middle East team outdid themselves by hunting down fine French hand-made chocolates from Forrey & Galland, exquisite Arabian coffee cups, scented candles, and fragrant oils. The gifts honored the guests and will certainly leave a lasting memory of the joyful evening.
Watch some impressions of the evening in this video: