Future of Region’s Design Industry to be discussed at INDEX


Regional and international experts will come together to discuss the latest issues and trends in the architecture and design industry at INDEX, the Middle East and North Africa’s largest and longest established Interiors and Design Exhibition. From October 22-25, 2011, INDEX 2011 will offer a platform for industry leaders, exhibitors and visitors to speak about the future of the industry including topics such as sustainability, innovation, youth and finance.

“While INDEX is an established platform for exhibitors to showcase their products and services, it also serves as an opportunity to come together and discuss the future of the design industry,” said Paul Al Chami, Event Director for INDEX. “We have a series of conferences, panel discussions and seminars that raise for discussion the key issues influencing the growth of the industry.”

This year’s speaker platforms include:

Design Talks Seminars

Now in its fourth year, the INDEX Design Talks will include an interactive series of seminars throughout the event. These free of charge sessions will be open to all visitors and will have themed sessions each day of the show, which include:

  • Day 1: ‘Real Life Environment’ – Panel to discuss preparing Interior Design graduates for the demands of the work place
  • Day 2: Focus on the industry’s business and financing
  • Day 3: ‘Forward Thinking’ sessions presented by the Middle East chapter of the American Institute of Architects
  • Day 4: Presenters touching on the industry’s key topics – Talk Innovation, Talk Green, Talk Trends and Talk Technology

The key speakers for the Design Talks are Ali Al Suwaidi, Senior Facilities Manager, Abu Dhabi Ports Company; Eames Demetrios, Director, Eames Office; Yann Jolivet, Deputy General Manager – Café Division, Bateel International; Mick Kent, Partner & Co-Founder, Kinnersley Kent Design; Jordi Milà, Designer, Jordi Milà Barcelona; Shelley Pond, Creative Director, Scarlet Opus; Nathan Savage, Principal Lighting Designer & Partner, Light Touch PLD L.L.C; Victor Schoone, Country Manager Middle East, ROCA Sanitario SA; Matteo Vercelloni, Architect; Padmaja Yadav, Vaastu Consultant, Vaastu for Art of Living; Karim Zaki, Chairman, Archimedia and from Insight With Passion, Senior Partners Kate Hardcastle and Richard Gomersall.

FoID Congress

The Association of Professional Interior Designers (APID), an organisation for professional interior designers in the Gulf Region, will launch the region’s first Festival of Interior Design (FoID). INDEX and APID have partnered to host an exclusive one day Congress at INDEX during the Festival of Interior Design which will attract constituents of the interior design industry and up to 400 delegates.


The 3-day InRetail Summit alongside INDEX will unveil retail innovators, personalities and organisations that have not only survived the industry’s most difficult years but used the downturn to grow and strengthen their brands and drive growth and transformation in the market. The programme focuses on innovation as key solutions to today’s market challenges and will highlight key retail projects and regional round-ups from the biggest retailers across the MENA region.

Advisory Board for the InRetail Summit includes Mohi Din BinHendi, President of BinHendi; Mohammed Al Fahim, CEO, Paris Gallery Group; Stephen Robertson , Director General, British Retail Consortium; Peter Walichnowski , CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Properties; Laurent Cathala, Vice President, Tiffany & Co; Andrew Darrow, EVP, KidZania; Arif Amiri , CEO, Emaar Retail; Vipin Sethi, CEO, Landmark Group; Simon Marshall, CEO, Fawaz AlHokair Saudi Arabia; H.E. Engineer Salah Salem Bin Omair Al Shamsi Former President of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and UAE Federation of Chamber of Commerce; Asil Attar, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Fashion; Mohammad Alawi, CEO, Red Sea Markets Co.; Ernest Hosking , CEO, Red Tag; Maxine Clark, Founder & CEO, Build a Bear; Nisreen Shocair, President, Virgin MENA and Dan Stuart, Co-Founder, GoNabit.

Growing Industry

INDEX 2011 comes at a time where the industry is stabilising from the economic downturn and is witnessing a steady growth in the GCC. INDEX recently announced from a report with Ventures Middle East that in the GCC US$4.5bn was spent on interiors and fit-outs in 2010, and is expected to increase by more than a quarter (26 per cent) this year. The report, which focussed on the four key pillars of the real estate sector – commercial, hospitality, residential and retail – also showed that interiors accounts for up to 30 per cent of GCC real estate project values.

More information on the exhibition and events is available at www.indexexhibition.com, www.foid.ae and www.inretailsummit.com.


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