Here’s our guide to the upcoming edition of INDEX

The Middle East’s biggest annual interior design exhibition, INDEX takes place at Dubai World Trade centre from March 26- 29, 2018. The four-day festival of design promises a hugely diverse and creative catalogue of furniture, furnishing and décor suppliers. INDEX is gearing-up for its strongest floor of live features and participating designers yet and a second show of the year just six months down the line. INDEX will follow-up this month’s annual flagship event with a second design showcase in September, allowing exhibitors and visitors alike to enjoy INDEX alongside The Hotel Show Dubai. The two separate INDEX shows will be dedicated to offering creative inspiration and the best of international interiors solutions, with both running alongside WORKSPACE and SURFACE Design Middle East.

Event director Samantha Kane- Macdonald says: “The UAE is home to perhaps the most exhilarating hospitality market on the planet right now, with new figures showing that the wider Middle East will eclipse Europe for the first time this year in regards to the number of new hotel rooms opening in 2018. For interior designers and architects, this is a hugely significant portion of business. On that balance, it feels only right for us to host INDEX – the region’s biggest interior design event – besides The Hotel Show.” One of the international design world’s most influential and ground-breaking exhibitions has chosen Dubai’s burgeoning design scene for their first foray into the Middle East. ‘Ventura Dubai’ will the next Ventura Project curated by Organisation in Design. Comprising no less than 45 of Europe’s most exciting up-and-coming and renowned designers, Dubai will follow global design capitals Milan, New York, Berlin and London in being selected to host the much-acclaimed Ventura brand, a staple at many of the world’s biggest interiors events, with INDEX chosen specifically for it’s far-reaching Middle Eastern audience.

Founder and curator of Organisation in Design, Margriet Vollenberg, shares: “We are thrilled to have our first Ventura Dubai exhibition in 2018. I’ve known INDEX for a long time and love how the show connects the world with the Middle East design community. The fact that INDEX thinks about making the event appeal to an audience well beyond their own borders really speaks to me.” The show will also introduce a new section of the floor, Made in UAE, which will connect a wide collection of as-yet undiscovered craftspeople – glassblowers, upholsterers, furniture makers et al – with the region’s leading architecture and design minds.

Things to Look forward at INDEX 2018
Luctra is a German lighting brand and they will be participating for the third time at INDEX this year. The Luctra range provides light by innovative LEDtechnologyandispresentedinatimeless, awardwinning design, which can be flexibly adjusted to individual needs and operated intuitively as well. The brand gives each user the ability to adjust their lighting exposure according to their own personal needs. Via an app, each individual’s personal light settings can be transmitted to the Luctra lamp; an ideal arrangement for desk sharing and flexible working. Oliver Dietrich, vice-president export sales, Luctra says, “At INDEX, we will showcase our premium lighting range, existing of table, floor, and mobile lamps which are the perfect companions for modern work environments. With our presence at INDEX we want to raise the awareness on the importance of the lighting and connect with partners who have the same mission like us: to create more healthy and productive human-centric workplaces.”

The multi-generational workforce and mainly the millennial generation is the big influence of reshaping the workplace designs in the UAE. By 2020, millennials will form 50% of the global workforce and the UAE is the top emerging market destination for young professionals looking to further their careers. “This millennial generation who are formed of an ambitious group of employees with a high interest in technology require the different working styles and preferences. They place much higher value on the office environment and workplace culture. Designers, architects and workspace experts have started to introduce these principles into their projects to increase user satisfaction and productivity,” feels Dietrich. Dietrich plans to expand in the GCC area as well. He further adds, “Ours is a Germany based company, we have started our business in the European market. The GCC area is a growing market when it comes to creating office designs that engage sustainability, wellbeing and employee engagement. Next to our expansion in the European market, our aim is to further establish our business in the GCC area.”

Haute Deco
Haute Deco is one of the leading door knob, handles, and hardware specialists. The London-based brand is exhibiting for the first time at the INDEX. Marie- Véronique Swannell, founder and creative director, Haute Deco says, “At INDEX, the public would want to see as large as possible a selection of our couture handles, so we have designed our stand to be a light version of our London showroom and to showcase a substantial selection of our coordinated handles. Amongst the many products on display will be the new Fleur doorknobs as well as the Aether cabinet knob series.” The brand now wants to pro-actively develop exports, starting with Dubai and the Middle East, and then the US where they will exhibit at ICFF later this year. “From INDEX, our expectation is twofold: we know that many interior designers in Dubai are aware of Haute Déco through our website but have never seen our handles in the flesh. We see this as an opportunity for them to check out the quality and craftsmanship of our handles and to have the confidence to specify us. Further we are hoping to introduce our brand to the many who have no notion that such handles exist, and to the potential they have for adding a touch of style to residential interiors,” shares Swannell.

Mineheart is a UK-based brand for home décor, furnishing, furniture, lighting, and accessories. Mineheart was launched in 2010 by designers Brendan Young and Vanessa Battaglia. The idea behind Mineheart is to create a playground for creativity and discovery, where art meets design, and poetry meets industry. Most Mineheart products are designed, made, and assembled in the UK, this enables more control over production and quality, giving greater flexibility and the ability to offer custom made and bespoke pieces for clients.

French Pavillion
Under the French Pavillion, various international brands like Alain Saint Joanis, Claire Fréchet, Concept Verre, Extranorm, Extranorm, Emilie Mazeau-Langlais, Platex, and many others will participate and showcase their latest offerings.

Italian Pavillion
There are interesting exhibitors at the Italian Pavillion, which are worth the attention. Brands like Fiam, Gasparri Design, Minardi Piume, Platinum Custom Rugs, Razzetti, Simone Cenedese will be present at the show too.

A social enterprise that is transforming skateboards into wall art by finishing decks with the works of world famous artists is heading to INDEX. Based out of Belgium, the Skateroom was founded in 2012 by Charles-Antoine Bodson, a skate fan who sold his massive personal collection of artist-adorned boards to get the firm rolling. He was joined in the venture by Oliver Percovich, an Afghanistan-based skater who launched Skateistan –a development initiative that combined skateboarding with education on the streets of Kabul five years back, and has since spread internationally. March’s trip to INDEX – where they will exhibit a number of boards across the show’s four days – will be the Skateroom’s first venture into the Middle East.