Leaders in Design MENA - Where design meets business

Leaders in Design MENA is a key meeting place for interior design professionals from the region to discuss the latest global markets trends in the industry, as well as to learn and source 360° solutions for their diverse portfolio of projects. Hotel Management Middle East gives a rundown of this year's conference, held in Dubai 15-16 November.


For years, Leaders in Design MENA has encouraged business connections between international suppliers and interior designers, providing a unique opportunity for industry players to explore the needs of the projects and get inspired by luminaries, and legends from within and outside the interior design industry, and explore the potential that the region can offer.

The fifth global Leaders in Design MENA took place on 15-16 November at the Ritz-Carlton JBR, Dubai. This summit, organised by the International Business Council, gathered over 200 industry leaders ranging from architects, interior designers and developers worldwide. Notably known as the region's platform for business opportunities and converse issues that the industry and the community is facing, it attracts companies that provide solutions to this highly targeted audience.

In the summit spotlight

Highlights of the event included the prearranged one-to-one meetings with sponsors for more in-depth business negotiations and development; non-stop networking, interactive coffee breaks and lunches; showcases of products from solution providers; controversial panel discussions and interviews; and, concluding the first day, a gala evening accompanied by a five-star dinner by the beach.

Sponsors at the event featured products and solutions that promise the latest innovation for the design and architectural industry. These included Alshaya Trading, Easy Drain, Interface, Kansai, Listone Giordano, P/Kaufmann, Sara Group, Timberlux and Toledo Mineração. The products and solutions ranged from furniture to drainage, to carpet tiles, paint, wood flooring, fabrics, bathroom, decking and granite solutions.

The broad spectrum of topics notably highlighted at the event included storytelling in retail interior design; office space evolution; hot or not: latest trends in residential design; cultural diversity in design; and trends in healthcare design. The remarkable line-up of speakers included Rashid Doleh, Co-founder and managing partner of mSquared, Andrew Linwood, head of design at Areen Hospitality, Francis Gallagher, principal and managing director of HKS, Elvira Muñoz, director of AECOM, and Saeed Alabbar, chairman of Emirates Green Building Council.

Look ahead to architecture

"Leaders in Design MENA is a brand that the Middle East and North African architecture and design community wants to be associated with and take active part in," Elena Jassim, CEO of the International Business Council, commented on this year's event. "It is a platform where future projects are discussed and business strategies for the biggest firms are decided.

"We are thankful for all the support we have received, and look forward to bringing more in-depth and insightful business opportunities to the region in the future - like our upcoming Leaders in Architecture MENA and global architecture awards, which will take place in April 2016 in Dubai. This will gather the global architecture and design community, highlighting the crucial role the region plays in setting worldwide trends, as well as promoting global cooperation."

Following a fruitful summit this year, the International Business Council will continue to strive to promote global business opportunities, professional development and entrepreneurship by facilitating networking and open dialogue amongst global and regional leaders. It is planning a series of high-level events that drive innovation and set international business agendas, and is currently set to organise the next Leaders in Architecture MENA for 2016, which promises the highest quality and level of professionalism as ever.

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Leaders in Design MENA brought together suppliers and designers from across the world to discuss the latest trends and key issues.
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