Art Dubai Group today announced the appointment of William Knight as Managing Director and Head of Design at the company. As owners of the region’s leading portfolio of art and design events in the Middle East and North Africa, Knight has been appointed to lead and develop the company’s design portfolio, which currently includes the region’s largest design event and trade show, Dubai Design Week and Downtown Design, as well as the collectible design fair Design Days Dubai.

Knight has played a prominent role in establishing London as a world-class design destination over 17 years since joining the UK Design Council in 1999. Knight was Deputy Director of the London Design Festival (2004-2012), joining at its inception and playing a critical role in establishing and developing what is now one of the world’s foremost design events. Since 2012 he has been Show Director, Design Trade Events at Media 10 Ltd leading two of the capital’s key annual design events: 100% Design and Clerkenwell Design Week.

Knight’s experience of developing both successful design trade events and high-profile public programming will be fully applied to developing design promotion activity for Dubai. The city is poised to take advantage not only of its regional position but an outstanding commitment to the power of design demonstrated through government investment in the infrastructure of design, exemplified by the rapidly growing Dubai Design District.

William Knight said “It’s an exceptional time to be working at the forefront of design promotion in Dubai; the city is already the region’s design hub and is primed to become one of the world's key design destinations. I’m hugely excited by the opportunity to develop a unique, sustainable and globally relevant series of events and to contribute to the swiftly evolving design culture in Dubai.”

Ben Floyd, CEO of Art Dubai Group said “We’re thrilled to welcome William on board. There are few candidates worldwide with such high-level commercial and non-commercial experience combined, and I look forward to working with him to help grow the city as a global destination for design trade and talent”

Officially taking up his position from 1 March, Knight retains a consultative role with Media 10 Ltd for the forthcoming edition of Clerkenwell Design Week.


About Art Dubai Group

Art Dubai Group (Art Dubai Fair LLC) is a public/private company established in 2007. The company’s portfolio includes over 25 activities staged across the city including fairs, festivals, exhibitions, commissions, prizes and awards, talks, workshops and education programmes. Mirroring the identity of Dubai, the world’s most cosmopolitan city, its programming attracts international participation from across the world and the company takes a leading role in helping establish the city as a cultural centre and place of global discovery.

The company’s design programme includes four annual design events: collectible design fair Design Days Dubai (est 2012); commercial trade fair Downtown Design (est 2013); a week-long city-wide festival of design, Dubai Design Week (est 2015); and, the world-unique Global Grad Show.


About Dubai Design District

Dubai Design District, (d3), one of the TECOM Group’s communities, is a destination dedicated to design. The chosen home for the region’s growing collective of creatives, artists and designers, d3, has fast become the hub for inspiration and innovation. Created to answer the growing need from the industry, d3 provides businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals from across the design value chain with a thriving community where they can collaborate, create and inspire.


About William Knight

Having studied Modern History & Politics at the University of London, William Knight began his career as a MP’s assistant in the House of Commons. He entered the design world in 1999 on joining the Design Council as Public Affairs Manager. During this time Knight spent six-months on secondment to UK Trade & Investment, Australia in 2003, project-managing a three-city tour of the award-winning Great Expectations exhibition.

Knight joined London Design Festival Ltd as Deputy Director in May 2004 taking responsibility for growing the festival programme, producing the annual marketing and communications campaign alongside strategic planning, business and stakeholder management.

Since joining Media 10 in early 2012, Knight has managed a portfolio of design trade events including 100% Design, the UK’s largest and longest running trade show. Under his leadership the exhibition has grown in terms of both exhibitor and visitor numbers and successfully moved from Earls Court to Olympia London, where it occupies 22,000sqm every September.

Clerkenwell Design Week focuses on London’s world-class commercial design cluster every May in a unique format that Knight has strengthened and evolved. It now boasts over 300 exhibitors across multiple venues and formats. Clerkenwell Design Week was awarded the highly coveted Association of Event Organisers (AEO) Best Tradeshow over 2,000sqm in 2016 and was recently announced as the highest ranked UK design event in Dezeen’s Hot List.


Source: The Portsmouth Group