Interior Designers Survey New Challenges in Recovering Regional Markets



HTML.inddLeading property developers and market analysts will evaluate the anticipated performance of the local construction sector at the 24th World Interior Design Congress of the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) in Dubai on November 10 and 11, 2009.

Held under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the IFI General Assembly and World Interior Design Congress will host regional and international experts in its line up of speakers.

Interior design firms in the region foresee total spending on interior projects in the GCC increasing by 20% in 2010. In the UAE alone, interior projects valued at US$37.3 billion will enter the market in 2009, with additional projects scheduled to arise the following year (increased value of US$42.9 billion).

Acknowledgement of the current situation and the expanding infrastructure are reviving investor confidence in Dubai, which is regaining its “competitive edge” compared to other MENA markets, according to Craig Plumb, Head of Research MENA at the global real estate advisory firm Jones Lang LaSalle, and speaker at the World Interior Design Congress.

Alongside Craig Plumb in the session titled ‘The Middle East Potential? A Review of the Real Project Pipeline’ will be Marko Hytonen, Area Vice-President Middle East with Rezidor Hotel Group, a global brand with over 380 hotels in 59 countries, and Nader Lahzi, Managing Director of regional property developer Bonyan for Development and Trade, who recently unveiled Designopolis, the Middle East’s first dedicated furnishings and design centre in Egypt.

“Interior designers in the region need to reposition themselves and adopt new strategies as the challenges and expectations have undergone major change,” commented Ken Laidler, President of Association of Professional Interior Designers (APID).

“It will no longer only be about new construction in the region. The growing ‘refit market’ also presents extensive opportunities. The IFI World Interior Design Congress will be a strong platform for the industry to chart its future course,” added Christian Merieau, Managing Director, Samuel Creations Middle East and member of the IFI Organising Committee.

Over 800 interior designers from 45 countries will attend the IFI General Assembly and World Interior Design Congress, being held in Dubai for the first time in its 46-year history. Other speakers at the Congress include Ross Lovegrove, known as ‘Captain Organic’, iconic Italian designer Piero Lissoni, Nadja Swarovski, celebrity scion of the famed crystal empire and product design expert Sebastian Conran.

The IFI Congress, highlighting its theme “Celebrate Interior Design”, will also host three interior design competitions – one for professionals and two for students – culminating in an awards ceremony. The event has due recognition and support from the Dubai Business Women Council while United Design International, Al Aqili Furnishings, American Hardwood Export Council, Designopolis, Actiu, Interiors and Crystallized Swarovski Elements are the main sponsors.


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