Second day of INDEX Design Talks at Dubai World Trade Centre hears how Middle East talents are offering locally created products of equal or better quality to Europe for 10% of the price
Dubai, UAE, May 24, 2023: The second day of this year’s INDEX, the region’s leading event for interior designers, retailers, and fit-out contractors, saw visitors treated to numerous highly engaging content sessions and a host of product unveilings, as thousands of industry professionals from across the globe filled Dubai World Trade Centre seeking new business opportunities and insights into the latest topics and trends – including the ever-exciting ultra-high-end property market.
The opening panel at this year’s INDEX Design Talks, which is sponsored by Geberit, Cosentino, Presto, and Kohler, explored how designers should consider ethical and social issues when making decisions related to their work. Also discussed was a shift t taking place towards sourcing high-end materials from within the region, rather than looking to typical key source markets, such as Italy.
When asked how designers can add value to luxury real estate developments through design choices, panellist Manisha Dayaram, Chief Commercial Officer at The Devmark Group, said she believes luxury real estate needs to be defined in more ways than just a premium address. “It is important to get into the lifestyle of the people that live in a certain project or location,” she said. “Designing the space from the inside out and understanding what the family or individuals’ preferences are really important.
“We need to look at things like acoustics, technology, and smart design techniques that really suit the end-lifestyle of an end-user. People are also looking for premium wellness amenities, as well as how sustainable a development is and how that translates across all spaces both within the home, and outside.”
The panel also identified a growth in locally sourced, luxury products that are helping developers and designers save on delivery costs and shipping times, meaning customers are still getting the quality they are looking for, but in a quicker, more cost-effective manner. “We try to advocate a lot for sourcing things locally, where possible,” said Mennah Darwish, Design Manager at UAE-based Select Group.
“We especially try to do this when it comes to joinery, as there is some incredible local talent here that offers exceptional quality. We’re seeing a lot of companies standing out right now and filling in that ultra-luxury gap with the experience necessary to compete with some of the larger international brands. We do our own tenders in-house, which allows us to keep in touch with the supply chain and market. And we’re seeing prices for products, such as premium wardrobe spaces, around 10 per cent of that in Europe. That is crazy. Local firms are bringing expertise from Europe in-house as they understand the benefits of time-saving and delivery expectations that come with dealing with ultra-luxury buyers.”
The three-day INDEX event, which is co-located alongside Workspace, The Hotel Show, and Leisure Show, is also demonstrating a wide range of cutting-edge products, services, and technologies tailored to meet the evolving demands of the interior design industry. Leading home design manufacturer, Kohler, is showcasing a limited range of products that celebrate 150 years of operations through its show theme “Come All Creators”. The brand’s collection at INDEX showcases artist collaborations, a new limited-edition global product collection, and some industry-first innovations such as a steam washbasin and ceiling-mounted digital kitchen faucet.
“Bold moves and an entrepreneurial spirit are in our DNA and have deep meaning within our organisation,” said Alan Orchard, Commercial Director Middle East & Sub-Saharan Africa at Kohler. “INDEX is a space where we are celebrating Kohler’s 150 years of heritage, innovation, and creativity. Our exhibit is a platform for us to collaborate with design enthusiasts from around the globe and showcase our latest innovations to the industry.”
INDEX, Workspace, The Hotel Show, and Leisure Show all run simultaneously at Dubai World Trade Centre until May 25.