Sole DXB, Dubai’s hotly anticipated, culture leading festival, returns this December after a three-year hiatus for its 10-year anniversary edition. With previous guests including the likes of Nas, Stormzy, Hiroshi Fujiwara, and Petra Collins, guests can expect another stellar line up of talent from the worlds of music, fashion, visual art and sports, for 2022. Taking place on December 9, 10, and 11, excitement for the event has reached fever pitch as a record number of festival-goers are expected to descend on Dubai Design District (d3).

With the support of its strategic partners Dubai Design District (d3), a global hub for art design and creativity and a member of TECOM Group PJSC and Dubai Calendar, the official listing platform for events in the city, Sole DXB has remained a thought leader in culture, believing in the power of the arts to shape a city and the lives of its residents. Historically the festival has been built on its four pillars of music, fashion, visual arts, and sports. 

Spotlighting a different subculture for each edition, this year Sole DXB  brings the story home, celebrating excellence across the Arab world and its diaspora, working with Moroccan visual artist Hassan Hajjaj as its first festival host. This summer, the Sole team travelled to Morocco to learn and draw inspiration from the culture, and to connect with creators and creatives, some of whom sit front and centre of the festival’s iconic campaign shot by Hassan, in the historic Madina of Marrakech. This year’s campaign features Moroccan rapper ElGrande Toto and master vocalist and percussionist, Khadija El Warzazia. The festival will also feature musicians, designers, artists, speakers and athletes from the UAE, Kuwait, KSA, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Morocco, Algeria, and more.

Joshua Cox, co-founder, Sole DXB says “This is a major milestone for us, having a decade under our belt. And we always knew the story would land right back where we started. This year, we’ve had the honour of working alongside our friend, Hassan Hajjaj, an artist that has dedicated his life to building the culture and elevating the contributions of the Arab world to it.  We’ve worked together to build a show that better reflects our values and this is going to be a celebration of the ideas that continue to drive us. It’s been a surreal three years and it feels incredible to be back, working with the city of Dubai and d3 to bring our community together again. We’ve missed you and we can’t wait to see you.”

Speaking of the collaboration, Hassan Hajjaj said “Over the last 10 years, I’ve witnessed Sole DXB develop as a platform for self-expression. A space where you can come and be yourself…where you are celebrated for who you are. Having moved early in my life from Morocco to London, I quickly had to learn that home must often be a state of mind. It’s our story, our traditions, our shared values, and the people we surround ourselves with. I believe that art can move us forward. It can dispel stereotypes. I believe in our youth and the next generation of creators that are showing us that we aren’t just consumers of the culture, but are actively contributing to it. My work this year with Sole DXB was to build a space that was a reflection of those shared values. The Arab world is not a monolith. It’s a collection of diverse people with a shared heritage. Our contributions to the world have changed the course of history and we’re here to show that we aren’t out of ideas. As the world opens back up, I couldn’t think of a better way to end the year than to gather our chosen family to showcase and celebrate each other. I’m often asked where I find inspiration, but I never have to look any further than those I’ve been blessed to share this journey with. Collaborating with Sole DXB has been a family affair. A reminder that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Commenting on the event and partnership, Khadija Al Bastaki, Vice President of Dubai Design District (d3), states, “As a hub for the region’s creative community, we at d3 are delighted and excited to be joining forces once again with Sole DXB to celebrate the creativity of the diaspora of the Arab World – and to mark the 10th anniversary of Sole DXB as well.  Sole DXB aligns so much with our vision and commitment at d3 – that of bringing the creative community together, inspiring, rethinking the regular and being a platform for showcasing incredible talent.  We look forward to welcoming visitors to d3 for what will be a spectacular three days of music, fashion, visual art and sports – and all of which further cements Dubai as a truly global creative hub.”

Sole DXB continues to hold its place at the centre of culture and commerce in the region, providing a genre-busting platform for businesses to connect and speak with audiences. Attendees can expect to find a highly-curated selection of global brands, from sportswear and contemporary giants to the best of independent fashion and design from the region and beyond. The festival will host exclusive experiential installations from the likes of New Balance, Puma, and The Giving Movement. Sole is also proud to introduce its new partners, Power Horse, Cashew, Philips and 25 Hours Hotel.

Other key elements of the event include the Sole Ball Above All Invitational, the region’s most competitive streetball tournament and the Sneaker Swap, where people will have the opportunity to buy, sell and trade footwear from leading collectors in the region.

Stay tuned for more announcements; there’s lots more to come.

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