INDEX, the largest interiors exhibition in the Middle East, is gearing up for its second design showcase of the year, and will offer a fully rounded creative experience by running alongside its new sister show
INDEX – the Middle East’s largest interiors exhibition – is gearing up for its second design event of the year, and will offer a fully rounded creative experience by running alongside its new sister show, FIM.
While INDEX will continue to provide a sourcing platform for designers, architects and buyers from across the residential, retail, hospitality and commercial design sectors to find exclusive interiors products, FIM will showcase the base materials, parts and fittings required to manufacture those products from scratch.
Together, the co-hosted exhibitions will cater to the whole design industry in a new way, offering a one-stop shop for finding both high-end and value driven furniture and décor – plus the wood, metallics, hinges and joints that will bring bespoke pieces from concept to reality.
Event Director Samantha Kane-Macdonald
“September’s INDEX – our second of the year – and FIM running adjacent to one another makes it easier than ever for designers, architects, buyers or manufacturers to come and absorb an all-encompassing design showcase put together to help them achieve all their client ambitions,” Event Director Samantha Kane-Macdonald, who is behind both shows, said. “That can be from acquiring lighting, furniture or bedding for a hotel, villa or shop’s interior, to discovering the parts and fabrics needed to create that one-off armchair, pouf or walk-in-wardrobe. To be able to serve-up all of that for our visitors in one place is a real source of excitement for us – and our exhibitors. Our shows always attract a wide range of buyers, from designers to retailers and manufacturers, and by bringing two separate events like this together we’re hopeful we’ll open up many of our exhibitors to a whole new market.”
While autumn’s INDEX will be a more compact edition of its flagship annual show which took place in March this year, the three-day exhibition will be held with its own theme: an exploration of the old Silk Road and its role both in the past, and in 21st century trade and design. The famous cross-continental design pathway opened-up new markets for Asian and European design philosophies, and that East meets West narrative is behind how September’s show – taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre – will be presented.
By bringing value-driven products and premium brands together in the Middle East, the show is presenting itself as a modern-day Silk Road, where value-driven products from the East will be exhibited alongside premium Western brands.
It is set to welcome over 400 furniture and décor design and supply companies from across the world, all specialising in fit-out and interior products for commercial, hospitality, retail and residential design projects. Renowned international brands including A Casa K, Alain Saint Joanis, Cristal de Paris, Gasparri Design and Minardi Piume are all confirmed, plus exciting new brands such as CIELLO from Sri Lanka and LISOWSKI Glass Studio from Cyprus, amongst others.
“The Silk Road started over 2,000 years ago, and through its many routes became the first way that Europe and the West was introduced to the likes of silk, dyes, precious stones, porcelain, spices and perfumes. In return, the route took western goods like glassware, woollen textiles, rugs, carpets animal firs and skins to a new market in the East, making it the world’s first and then premiere trade route – at the heart of which was design and creativity,” Kane-Macdonald elaborated. “Its path ventured through the deserts of the Middle East. Two millennia on and the region – the UAE especially – plays equally as central a role now as being the hub between the two continents. The INDEX show will focus on individual designs and value driven products from Asia, sat alongside premium products from Europe, with design houses from the likes of Italy, India and China giving us great variance. Together, they will allow the show to present a wide selection of interior products to suit the taste and budgets of all our visitors, covering every buyer’s needs as the design industry heads into the final quarter of the year.”
INDEX will come alive with the colours, patterns and textures that encapsulated The Silk Road when it was its most densely trodden, and will be brought alive with a number of live features. Highlights include the Trend Hub – an interactive platform for designers and retailers that will feature seminar sessions on topics including 2020 design and colour trends, experiential design, social media for business development and visual merchandising.
The show floor will also host a curated showcase of local talent compiled by Tashkeel, plus a collaboration between Boxmark and South African designer Ronel Jordaan that will culiminate in the creation of a ‘Wool Waterfall’.
Running simultaneously, FIM will unite local furniture-makers, interior designers and architects with international providers of materials, tools and components who are looking to expand their reach across the Middle East.
According to a 2017 market report by analysts Ventures Middle East – citing the United Nations Commodity Trade Database – the annual export value of furniture and parts thereof out of the region is estimated to be worth AED 1.5billion (US$400million) each year. Of that, the UAE accounted for roughly AED 750million (US$200million), half the total figure.
It is that mammoth industry that FIM seeks to benefit, promoting the skill and value of the experts fuelling that booming market. Firms including Hafele GmbH & Co, Simonswerk, Plamac Spa, L&S, Sedil Curvi, Seven Italia and Viterie will all be taking part.
“From wood, fabric and materials, to fittings, structural parts, 3D printing and upholstery tools, FIM will bring manufacturing to life in a way that compliments its position alongside INDEX. Where INDEX can provide inspiration and direct product sourcing, FIM will be the place where the creative minds behind our region’s growing catalogue of new build and refurbishment projects can source every part of any furnishing product they are trying to bring to life. Samantha Kane-Macdonald added. “This is the first time we have been able to incorporate these two separate design elements together in the same place, so September’s event is going to be something different for all our visitors. We feel it allows our exhibitors to provide an essential one-stop shop that hasn’t existed up until now.”
Following September’s show, the full flagship INDEX experience will return in September 2019 as the show in its entirety sits alongside The Hotel Show Dubai, together offering a complete insight into the Middle East’s surging design and hospitality industry.