Dubai, UAE: INDEX may be the leading event for interior designers, retailers, and fit-out contractors in the Middle East, yet this year’s edition demonstrated its growing status on the international stage. Closing its three-day run at Dubai World Trade Centre today, global growth was evident across several key source markets, including Italy, Turkiye, Korea, and Romania, while organisers recorded exhibitors from more than 40 countries from six continents ranging from Brazil to Australia, Canada to Japan.
Noccasa, a Turkiye-based company founded by two sisters, was exhibiting at INDEX for the first time. Specialising in the production of domestically sourced, handmade pouffynocs (floor cushions), ottomans, specially designed armchairs, decorative pillows, and daybeds, the company was looking to expand its presence in the Middle East by using the show as a platform to meet potential suppliers.
“With our unique patterns and colour combinations, we hope to bring fresh ideas to the local market and are looking forward to working with local partners to expand across the region,” said Necibe Sönmez Vardar, Co-Founder at Noccasa.
Another newcomer from Turkiye, Isbir Yatak, showcased its latest range of mattresses, including a pocket spring mattress, high-density memory foam, and polymer spring mattress. The firm operates eight factories in Turkiye and one in India while it boasts around 250 stores in Turkey and 30 sales points in Europe, including in Germany, Belgium, and Poland.
“We have never been to this region before, but we see it as a great opportunity for us to expand in the Middle East, which is seeing such amazing growth,” said Ünal Akmeşe, Coordinator at Isbir Yatak. “One of our key products this year is a mattress that is sustainable, organic, and natural. The mattress is 100 per cent handmade and is created using materials such as horsehair and coconut leaves. A previous collection included a mattress where the fabric was made of bottles collected from the ocean.”
Italian interior design and fabrics research company AMG Luxury Living also showcased its range of sustainably responsible products, including a selection of velvet fabrics made from recycled fibres and a selection of lampshades made by regenerating unused fabrics from old clothes.
“We exhibited at INDEX here in Dubai more than 10 years ago and have also taken part in INDEX Qatar and INDEX Saudi, all of which have been very successful for us,” said Irene Garage, Project Manager at AMG Luxury Living. “One of our main objectives is to try and understand our clients and their needs and combine that with our experience. Our range of sustainable, responsible products has really resonated with potential customers as the industry looks for innovative ways to incorporate sustainability into their projects.”
Meanwhile, the trade show’s inaugural ‘INDEX Student Competition’, a country-wide university challenge organised last month and aimed at supporting the future generation of architects and designers, announced 10 winners on the final day. Sponsored by VitrA, nine leading design houses took part in the judging process of 60 participants, with 10 winning submissions awarded internships that will start when they complete their ongoing courses. Winners included students from Manipal University, American University in Dubai, Abu Dhabi University and Abu Dhabi University.
The competition challenged the students to design bathrooms for celebrity of their choice. The full-day event, which was held at VitrA’s showroom last month, saw judges recreate a panel similar to hit TV show The Voice with each member battling to mentor participants and secure them an internship at their studio.
“We were blown away by the level of imagination and how the students are converting their ideas into reality with their drawings, layouts, and the materials they used,” said Christine Barakat, Regional Specification Manager – MEA, at VitrA. “Some of the students, when they presented their ideas, seemed like they were already years into a design career, which is truly exciting when you think these students will go on to be the next generation of our industry. They filled the whole judging panel with inspiration and we can’t wait to see how their careers grow when the internships get under way.”
INDEX, co-located alongside Workspace, The Hotel Show, and Leisure Show, will return to the Dubai World Trade Centre next year from May 28-30, 2024.
Since its inaugural event, the three-day INDEX trade show has developed into a major gathering for the interior design and fit-out industry. Combining the traditional elements of a trade show with a variety of expert-led conferences, motivational elements, and exciting showcases of innovative products, INDEX attracts more than 17,000 visitors each year.
With 300+ exhibitors and 100+ expert speakers taking part every year, attendees benefit from the networking opportunities, the chance to discover new products and trends, and ability to maximise their industry knowledge by attending insightful conferences featuring titans of the global interior design industry who are transforming spaces with product, design, and technology.
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As society transitions to a post-pandemic state, the significance of workplace wellness has never been higher. To run a successful business, a hybrid and flexible work environment must be created, and the three-day Workplace exhibition is where industry professionals can do just that. For more than 20 years, the annual trade show has introduced cutting-edge concepts to enhance workplace wellbeing. Acting as the industry's gathering point to execute business with experts in the field, Workspace attracts 17,500 visitors each year and features more than 300 exhibitors and 100 expert speakers.
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