Participants at The Office Exhibition 2012 were positive about the outlook for commercial fit-out projects in the Middle East, with many citing an increase in the number of business enquiries received and contracts secured during the event.
Stewart Brown, President at Independent Freight International, U.S.A, said, “We are very pleased to host eight new companies from the Americas at The Office Exhibition this year. These companies exhibited for the first time in the Middle East and their feedback has been extremely positive. They were able to meet a very dedicated and focused audience from across the MENA region and build key relationships that we hope will help to generate a lot of business over the next few months.”
With more than $300bn worth of major projects expected to be awarded across the Middle East in 2012, this year’s Office Exhibition was the busiest the show since 2007. For participating exhibitors the UAE remained a top target market, citing the forthcoming office supply as a key demand driver.
According to a Jones Lang LaSalle approximately 75 million m² of office space in Dubai is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012, while in Abu Dhabi, an additional 1.2 million m² of office space is expected to come online in 2013.
Increased attendance at The Office Exhibition 2012 also reaffirmed the show’s regional and international appeal, attracting visitors from as far afield as Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, Malaysia, and Ireland.
“We have been participating at The Office Exhibition for the last 12 years and can confidently say that it is the only platform for office suppliers worldwide to target a large number of buyers across the Middle East. Visitors to our stand increased by 35% from last year and at least 40% of these visitors hailed from the GCC with the others coming from other countries in and outside of the Middle East. What is particularly encouraging is the fact that most of these visitors were senior decision makers,” said Gilbert Griño, Marketing Manager at BAFCO.
The exhibition floor proved a source of education, innovation and inspiration for the region’s architecture and design community. Recognising the importance of market intelligence for show visitors and participants, organisers of The Office Exhibition ran, for the first time, an extensive series of daily workshops and seminars. Topics ranged from ‘local perspectives in sustainable design’ to ‘how cultural diversities in the region are driving commercial interior design’.
Also returning to the show as knowledge partner for the second consecutive year was The International Interior Design Association (IIDA). In addition to chairing the invite-only Design Executive Roundtable event for local design professionals, IIDA presided over the show’s two design competitions.
Cheryl Durst, Executive Vice President and CEO, IIDA, commented, “Design in the workplace should essentially respond to the needs of the people within that space. We were truly impressed by the high level of precision, innovation and quality of the products on showcase at The Office Exhibition this year. They are fitting solutions to the requirements of modern workplaces and reflect a true understanding of the significance of design in commercial environments.”
Visitors to The Office Exhibition echoed Durst’s comments. Rebecca Davids, an Abu Dhabi based architect, visited the show and said, “I have been attending The Office Exhibition for the last four years and am happy to see it improving every year. There was an excellent range of products on display, not only from the big global players but also from regional enterprises. The education seminars and workshops were a real value added offering of the show and helped me to gain important insights into current issues impacting office design in the Middle East.”
Next year sees the co-location of The Office Exhibition with the INDEX International Design Exhibition, the largest and most diverse international design exhibition for the MENA region.
David Wilson, Event Director of The Office Exhibition, said, “This has been another great year for The Office Exhibition. The feedback we’ve gathered onsite indicates the show has delivered beyond the expectations of participants and visitors alike. We showcased an incredible range of award-winning products from all over the world, encouraged healthy professional debate during our industry seminars and provided direct access to real business opportunities across the Middle East. We look forward to strengthening these opportunities through our collaboration with the INDEX International Design Exhibition next year.”
The INDEX International Design Exhibition 2013 incorporating The Office Exhibition will take place from 20 – 23 May 2013 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Monday, May 28- 2012 @ 10:03 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.