INDEX 2009, the leading trade interior design show in the Middle East, sponsored by Al Nakheel, closed today after a strong 4 days, with exhibitors leaving the event with full order books and excellent prospects for future business.
The feature-packed show started on a high with the official opening by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council. Some 1,000 exhibitors and 26 National Pavilions took part, from 47 countries. The number of visitors was up by around 24% on 2008.
INDEX’s brand new focus on high end design and innovation proved to be a hit with visitors and exhibitors alike, and feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The exclusive consumer evening also proved to be a big hit, with consumers snapping up products that will not be available in the shops for some time to come.
With standing room only, the Design Talks brought high profile international speakers onto the show floor, including Tomita Kazuhiko of Tomita Design, Victoria Redshaw of Scarlet Opus, Marcus Fairs of Dezeen Magazine, Johannes C.F. Holtzhauzen, CEO Waitrose MENA, and Michael Kent, founding partner of Kinnersley Kent Design team. Sessions included future design trends, the latest in avant-garde design, incorporating tradition for the future and adapting an English brand to flourish in the Middle East Market.
The hotly contested Contemporary Majlis competition created a real buzz, with Zain Mustafa’s concept taking the crown. In addition, New Yorkers Daniel Holguin and Victoria Simes’ jewellery 4 architecture competition resulted in some amazing creations from the students in unusual materials including horse hair, yarn, human hair and chains.
The Al Habtoor Student competition saw six leading Universities taking part in a series of challenges to create objects such as a work bench and a portable office space. Working with TASMENA, a recently formed non-profit organisation whose mission is to raise awareness about socially responsible design, the competition also included a community element, with the students designing a space for the Dubai Autism Centre.
Speaking about INDEX, Lu Buchanan, Show Director, said, “INDEX 2009 has undoubtedly been the most successful to date. The feedback we have had from visitors and exhibitors has been phenomenal. Our decision to focus on high end design, and produce a show packed with unique and interesting features, has proved to be spot on. We got the right people from across the GCC and internationally through the doors, and it looks like a significant amount of business will result from the show. We are looking forward to even bigger and better things at INDEX 2010!”
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