The shows to see, seminars to catch and designers to watch… 

Now in its ninth season, Fashion Forward is back with a bang.

From March 23 to 25, the talent platform will be showcasing the best local designers that Dubai and the Middle East has to offer – and this is your chance to see them.

With over 30 fashion, accessory and menswear designers carefully selected from the region, the bi-annual event takes place at Hai d3 at Dubai Design District and, although it’s a fashion-industry focused event, it’s open to the public too.

Tickets are free for those in the industry (just make sure you register) and Dhs100 for a one-day pass or Dhs200 for a three-day pass for members of the public (click here to buy). Paying on the door? Expect to pay an additional Dhs50.

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Whether it’s your first time attending or you’re a regular show-pro, here are our top picks of who to see to get the most out of season nine…

The designer of the moment: Arwa Al Banawi, Thursday 23 March, 5pm

Saudi-born Arwa Al Banawi is the name on everyone’s lips right now, so make sure to check out her wearable collection of impressive prints and clean cuts.

The must-see: Michael Cinco, Thursday 23 March, 10pm

Best known for his beautiful couture collections, here you can see Dubai-based Cinco’s masterpieces in action on the catwalk.

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The timeless collection: Kristina Fidelskaya, Friday 24 March, 6.30pm

Dubai-based Fidelskaya effortlessly mixes elegant shapes and vintage styles for a modest but modern collection. Current class at its best.

The best for abayas: Ghudfah, Friday 24 March, 8pm

Born and raised in Riyadh, designer Sarah Albaz is renowned for creating the most intricate and luxurious abayas in town.

The newbie: 6Degree, Saturday 25 March, 4pm

Showing for the first time at FFWD, 6Degree supports and celebrates Indian fashion designers in showcasing their talent across the globe. Watch three selected designers reveal their signature collections.

The EW Favourite: Bedouin, Saturday 25 March, 7.30pm

Developed by Central Saint Martins’ graduate Andraya Farrag, Bedouin Studios is our go-to label for the most modern of dresses. Be warned, you will want it all.

Click here to see the full schedule of FFWD.

As well as the glamour and excitement of the shows, FFWD also will present The Showcase – a curated space for the best regional jewellery and accessory designers. Feast your eyes on everything from Azra and Jude Benhalim mega jewels to Belquis and Rula Galayini arm candy.

Are you looking to set up your own business? Or maybe you’d love to start a career in fashion? Then make sure you attend one of the inspirational d3 Fashion Talks with the top global industry experts. With seminars covering everything from ‘E-commerce: How to jump into the online marketplace’ to ‘Building a Brand That Lasts’, prepare to be interactive and inspired.

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Images: Supplied by FFWD