x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Dubai designer captures international accolade

An Emirati designer has won an international award for a showcase of his work at Traffic, a concept store he founded that combines quirky furniture with art.

DUBAI // An Emirati designer has won an international award for a showcase of his work at Traffic, a concept store he founded that combines quirky furniture with art. Rami Farook was described as "outstanding" by the judges, who named him the winner of the British Council's International Young Creative Entrepreneur award at a ceremony in London.

He was presented with Dh31,000 (US$8,440) and a trophy. "It is an honour to represent the UAE on a global scale and a proud moment for me and my family," Mr Farook said. The council chose this year's entrants after receiving examples of their work. For the judging, Mr Farook was flown to the UK along with eight other finalists from India, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Taiwan, Indonesia, Taipei and Turkey, the state news agency WAM reported.

Mr Farook, who helped design the UAE pavilion at the Venice Biennale this year, was chosen because his "outstanding presentation genuinely impressed the judges, providing them with a real sense of the sector in the UAE and business opportunities that [he] is already exploiting", organisers said. "Rami is a natural leader and the judges were particularly taken by his innovative marriage of art and design. He is clearly set to become a key figure in the design scene both locally and internationally."

Andrew Senior, the head of the British Council's creative economy unit, said: "Rami wasn't trained in design but he has a passion for it and is able to work with and nurture talented designers. "Rami marries this with strong commercial sense and market understanding. He is also not afraid of taking risks and those risks seem to be paying off. These are all the hallmarks of a true creative entrepreneur."

During the 10-day judging of the contest, finalists were taken on a tour of the UK, meeting designers from London, Glasgow and Belfast. tyaqoob@thenational.ae