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Design for Expression : INDEX reveals theme for 2018

  • Middle East’s biggest interior design event returns for four-days in March
  • Show promises an exploration of self-expression and individuality in design
  • 2018 edition will introduce ‘A&D City’ – a hub for designers to meet clients
  • European agency Organisation in Design on board to curate contemporary interiors avenue

INDEX – the Middle East’s biggest annual interior design exhibition – is to explore the individuality of design in 2018.

Design for Expression will be the central theme of the show, which takes place March 26-29.

The four-day festival of design promises to feature its most diverse and creative catalogue of furniture, furnishing and décor suppliers to date, a conference schedule featuring the pinnacle of local and international design minds, and bespoke live features brought to Dubai exclusively for INDEX.



Included amongst those will be Dutch design agency Organisation in Design, who are curating a pool of Europe’s most exciting labels and studios to bring a contemporary style avenue to the show as INDEX seeks to celebrate design as a direct reflection of individuality.

Samantha Kane-Macdonald, INDEX event director, said: “Clients and end-users have more creative input than they have ever had when dealing with interior designers, product designers and contractors, no matter what the scale of the project.

“With that, the pendulum of control has swung back to the people. The design mantra is more and more about incorporating the traits of the individual: their beliefs, their experiences, their ambitions. Never before have interiors, furniture and décor been considered such a direct reflection of those who own the space.

“Allowing scope for personal self-expression is already becoming more important when thinking about an interior space. For 2018, INDEX will critique the way we express our individuality through the products we source for our interiors, be that at work or at home.

“With a forecast of over 1,000 exhibitors coming to INDEX from 60 different countries, our 2018 show will offer a wealth of product for those hoping to find that item which will allow their client’s project to feel uniquely theirs.”

This will be the second time INDEX has incorporated a theme into its show. Last year, the exhibition was transformed with lush greens to allow visitors to delve into Design for the Senses – interiors that stimulated. Big name speakers included Bethan Gray, Henry Holland, Jo Hamilton and Letitia Taylor – the latter of who curated the show’s exclusive Harrods Interiors’ VIP Oasis.

While next year’s show speakers’ panel has yet to be finalised, INDEX 2018 will launch a new initiative aimed at providing a network and business-growing platform for local and international design firms.

The show’s A&D City will be a global showcase for interior design and architecture companies looking to extend their reach, with stands giving firms space to display their portfolios and sit down with potential clients.

INDEX will once again run alongside workspace, the MENA region’s premium office fit-out exhibition. Surface Design – which replaces Middle East Covering – will join the two shows, offering a one-stop shop for design solutions for all floors, walls and ceilings.

The GCC’s interior design market has surged in value of late, and is now worth almost US$18billion-a- year.

A region-wide study by market-analysts Ventures found that despite oil price fluctuations, the

region’s interiors industry has grown in value by more than US$2.2billion in the last 12 months alone.


The research discovered that the value of interior-based design and fit-out spend has risen from US$15.5bn in 2016 to US$17.7bn this year, with the steep rise attributed to near-constant innovation and what experts describe as “ever-changing personal preferences”.

The report – commissioned exclusively by INDEX – concluded that interior design is one of the Gulf’s fastest growing industries.

Samantha Kane-Macdonald added: “Our fresh approaches for 2018 will make our March show the most all-encompassing INDEX we’ve ever had; a design event that truly caters to the needs of every single person working in the industry, at a time of substantial growth for the region.

“Through everything we incorporate and introduce to INDEX, we aim to build a creative platform that both inspires and connects people. Our innovations for 2018 will provide just that, with plenty more exciting additions to come.”


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