Was Established To Address The Growing Need For Talented Designers And Innovators In The UAE And Beyond




Its vision is simple: to prepare students for a world where today’s jobs may not exist in the future. Global in outlook, bold in its approach, DIDI instils youth with the confidence to take risks, push boundaries, and challenge ways of thinking, making and creating.


The private non-profit university is located in the Dubai Design District (d3), accredited by the UAE Ministry of Education and boasts a curriculum created in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Parsons School of Design.


With its first student intake in 2018, DIDI focuses on nurturing the Middle East’s next generation of designers and innovators and provides the region’s first integrated Bachelor of Design degree. Students map out their own four year educational journey by pairing two of DIDI’s disciplines: Product Design, Multimedia Design, Fashion Design, and Strategic Design Management. This cross-concentration path allows DIDI students to seamlessly blur the boundaries between traditional fields of design, increasing their ability to practice empathy, solve complex problems, think critically, and develop a heightened level of emotional intelligence— skills the World Economic Forum defines as vital to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


With a Master of Architecture with distinction from Harvard University, and a Bachelor’s from MIT, Hani Asfour is the Dean of DIDI and leads a stellar academic team. The faculty includes a mix of award-winning designers and academics with experience across various fields—visual and digital—such as artificial intelligence, aerospace, aviation, medicine, humanitarian design, product design, interactive design, robotics, fashion, sustainability, and more.


The university’s human-centric approach to technology and design has attracted talent from over thirty countries, including China, Cuba, Russia, South Africa, and the USA, with UAE and GCC nationals accounting for one third of the demographic.


As part of its vision to inspire new generations, DIDI is also responsible for the UAE’s largest pre-college student design competition, which provides a matchless opportunity to gain real-world experience in the creative problem-solving field. Project Design Space sets itself apart from other innovation programmes by offering student teams around the world the rare opportunity to work on real design projects for actual clients, including government bodies, corporations, and non-profit organizations.


DIDI’s collaboration and cooperation with leading global and local brands is a strong endorsement of the university’s hands-on approach to design thinking.


Combinatory education’ empowers students with a diverse set of skills and prepares them for a variety of future careers, and it provides youth with a hybrid mindset that blends visual literacy, technological fluency, and strategic proficiency. It meets the growing need for talented designers to seamlessly imbue their creativity with digital acumen in the UAE and beyond because today’s students will be tomorrow’s innovators.

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