First ‘Festival of Interior Design’ to be held in October

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The Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (Dubai Events), an agency under the Department of Economic Development, has announced its partnership with the Association of Professional Interior Designers (APID), an organization representing professional interior designers in the Gulf region, for the first ‘Festival of Interior Design’ (FoID), which will be held from October 22 to 25, 2011, across Dubai. The partnership will pave the way for stronger participation from the retail sector, which is being highly encouraged to organize workshops, offer interior design consultations, festival discounts, themed window displays and usage of the FoID logo and branding during the festival.

The partnership was agreed upon at a recent meeting at The Pavilion – Downtown Dubai, which was attended by Laila Suhail, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Events and Farida Abdulla Kamber Al Awadhi, President, APID, and also included Hazim El-Khatib, Vice President, APID, and Christian Merieau, Head of Events Committee, APID. The announcement is in line with the Dubai Events mandate to develop, promote, facilitate, and support the retail and events sectors, ensuring year-round attractions and reasons to visit Dubai, its festivals, malls, souks, and high streets.

Under the terms of the partnership, Dubai Events is offering retailers and shopping malls a ten-day window to organize events and activities in line with the Festival of Interior Design. Looking to attract a stronger participation from the retail segment, Dubai Events has offered to waive all fees associated with organizing sales and discounts during the ten-day period including the festival days. In addition, Dubai Events will also include the various events and activities associated on the Dubai Calendar, one of the establishment’s main initiatives that aims to highlight Dubai’s festivals, exhibitions, cultural and sport events and activities throughout the year.

“Dubai Events will always explore innovative ways to stimulate the retail sector across all its segments. With over 1,000 retail outlets in Dubai alone, the furniture, interior design and its supplier industry is considered to be one of the main pillars in Dubai’s retail sector, and we want to further enhance its performance,” said Laila Suhail, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Events. “We are committed to working closely with APID in ensuring the success of the first ever Festival of Interior Design by encouraging the retail segment to participate and hold attractive sales and creative promotions during the event. This partnership further demonstrates our commitment to strengthening Dubai’s economy.”

The alliance between Dubai Events and APID is testament to the significant role played by Dubai’s retail sector, which is considered to be one of the fastest growing commercial activities in the UAE. Continued government support and the active participation of the private sector have positioned the UAE retail sector as one of the most desirable retail environment in terms of investments and revenue generation. In fact, Business Monitor International’s (BMI) ‘Q3 2011 Retail Report’ predicts that the key factors behind the country’s retail sales expansion in the coming four years will be strong underlying economic growth, increasing household consumption, growing acceptance of modern retailing concepts and expatriate wealth.

“APID remains steadfast in its commitment to develop the interior design industry in the UAE and our partnership with Dubai Events is a welcome boost that aims to activate Dubai’s retail sector for ten days including the four day festival. We thank Dubai Events and we are confident that their involvement will elevate the festival and help provide a platform for the retail sector and improve the industry as a whole,” concluded Farida Abdulla Kamber Al Awadhi, President, APID.

FoID is being presented as a catalyst event that aims to bind and unify interior design professionals in the Middle East region. The festival is envisioned as a strategic initiative to showcase the designs and work of emerging individuals and firms and also create key opportunities. The first of its kind event in the region underlines five pillar objectives – ‘Educate’, to increase more awareness on the interior design industry within the general public and among industry professionals; ‘Celebrate’, give homage and celebrate the significance of the industry in both traditional and modern Arab culture; ‘Encourage’, promote and discover emerging talent in interior design; ‘Highlight’, provide the necessary attention and focus on innovations and new design trends being introduced in the industry today; and ‘Collaborate’, promote and strengthen partnerships with similar interior design based groups and associations.

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