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Industry experts on what's hot and what's not

Pushing Boundaries Michael Khoury - Mirodec Gulf, on expansion of the family business from Lebanon to the UAE market with dedication to quality and customer satisfaction

July 2019

F&B Design Feature

Basin: IpalyssÂŽ vessel Fitting: Connect Air vessel mixer

Contents J u ly 2019


26 IN THIS ISSUE‌ 18 Cover Story

Michael Khoury, Mirodec Gulf, on what makes this family-owned business such a success







Industry Insight



In conversation with Paul Haslam from Bauporte Gulf

Adrian Welch of Godwin Austen Johnson on exploring the visionary Al-'Ula in Saudi Arabia

How design in educational buildings is inspring and engaging the students

What's trending in the F&B design segment and things that are just passĂŠ

36 July 2019


Contents J u ly 2019



Editor’s Note

12 Newsmakers 50 Supplier Focus 54 Wish List

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58 Events 60 Pick of the Month


CEO Wissam Younane Director Rabih Najm Group publishing director Joaquim D’Costa +971 50 440 2706

Commercial director Delphene Fletcher +971 55 9910706

Business development director Rabih Naderi +966 50 328 9818

Editor Roma Arora roma@ Art director Aaron Sutton

Welcome These are exciting times for the GCC and interior design industry. According to the latest report: "GCC building construction projects expected to be completed across all sectors are forecast to be worth US$ 74.9 billion in 2019. Interior design and fit-out industries are expected to thrive as the demand for new residential properties, hotels, school, and hospitals continue to grow." What further excites me is how KSA is showing a positive sign of growth and many known developers, architectural firms, and other companies have big plans for the country. Our cover story this month features Michael Khoury from Mirodec Gulf, who foresees various possibilities and major developments in KSA. Khoury further discusses his family business of glass manufacturing, clients, future plans, and more. The feature this month, decodes the trends that are hugely popular when it comes to the F&B sector of the region, as experts share their opinions on what's trending and what's not. We have always been interested in Design in Education and this month, we have explored the topic and highlighted what needs to be done to create space that promotes wellness and collaboration outside the classroom as well. What is on my mind is the stunning side table by Angelo Cappellini from our Wish List that features delicate inlaid textures, simple contours, and a modern appeal.

Happy reading! Roma Arora

Marketing Executive Vince Celestial

Photographer Farooq Salik

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July 2019


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Newsmakers /designmideast /designmiddleeast

Margriet Vollenberg

How INDEX Introduced Organisation in Design in the Middle East It was early 2018 when Organisation in Design set out to enter a completely new market for the first time [the Middle East] and connect with design professionals in that region. Founded in 2005, Organisation in Design is a PR and event studio with offices in The Netherlands and Italy. Under the name Ventura Projects, they curate international contemporary design exhibitions focused on quality and concept. The company is the brainchild of Margriet Vollenberg, founder and director of Organisation in Design. After evaluating a number of different options, Vollenberg decided to launch Ventura Projects

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in Dubai and selected the INDEX exhibition (the region’s largest and longest standing exhibition dedicated to all things interior design) as the platform to do it. Given that INDEX was Organisation in Design’s first entry point into the Middle East market, the INDEX team started by providing them with information about the region upfront. Through this close collaboration, Organisation in Design were able to learn a lot about the region’s design culture before arriving at the exhibition. The 43 exhibitors who took part in Ventura Dubai met over 100 different design buyers and were very happy with the quality of the new connections they made.

Due to the success of their participation, Organisation in Dubai has announced their collaboration will be continued in 2019 with the second edition of Ventura Dubai at INDEX and they have decided not to participate in any other design exhibitions in the Middle East outside of INDEX in 2019. ‘’The INDEX team took care of everything. Due to this perfect organisation, the exhibitors were able to dedicate their time in building as many new contacts and key relationships as possible,’’ said Vollenberg. Dubai is going to witness some amazing industry events very soon. International events company dmg

events have announced that Middle East Design and Hospitality Week (MEDHW), comprising of seven prestigious design and hospitality events, will take place from 17-19, 2019, at Dubai World Trade Centre. MEDHW will set the stage for the multi-million-dollar growth expected in the GCC’s design and hospitality sectors by offering exhibitors and visitors a comprehensive and highly specialised platform for industry leading discussions, knowledgesharing, B2B introductions, and B2C interactions. The seven events that makeup MEDHW are INDEX, The Hotel Show, WORKSPACE, The Leisure Show, Surface Design, FIM, and INDEX Home.


Dyson introduces LightcycleTM task light Dyson LightcycleTM task light provides the right light for the right time of day, intelligently adjusted for age, task, and daily routine

Dyson unveiled the Dyson LightcycleTM task light alongside its latest air purification and robotic vacuum technologies. The Dyson LightcycleTM task light is the result of more than two years of development, with over 892 prototypes made and more than 90 engineers involved. The Dyson LightcycleTM task light continually adjusts its colour temperature and brightness in relation to your local daylight, providing the right light for the right time of day. It uses a unique time, date and location driven algorithm to calculate the colour temperature and brightness of daylight, anywhere in the world. Software validation was supported by data from over a million satellite-based measurements of light conditions in the earth’s atmosphere at different times of day. A 32-bit microprocessor on board

the Dyson LightcycleTM task light continually interprets this daylight data, communicating it to the optical driver for dynamic colour tuning. The product’s 3 warm and 3 cool LEDs work in tandem to simulate daylight colour temperatures from 2,700-6,500 Kelvin. The Dyson LightcycleTM task light provides a uniform pool of high-quality, powerful light with more than 1,000 Lux brightness, combined with glare protection and low optical flicker (<1%). It exceeds recommended levels for studying. The only light with Heat Pipe technology to protect light quality for 60 years. So the Dyson LightcycleTM task light’s ability to reliably adjust its colour and brightness, to track natural daylight, doesn’t diminish over time. Personalised light is made possible by the

Dyson Link app. It continually communicates with the Dyson LightcycleTM task light to adjust light output for your age (as entered in the Dyson Link app), task, daily routine and local daylight – designed to support optimal illumination throughout the day. The Dyson LightcycleTM task light has pre-set modes: Study, Relax, Precision, Boost, Wake-up, Sleep, and Away. It also has manual control with slide-touch dimming and colour temperature selection that lets you define your personal light preferences. It’s possible to pre-programme and assign names for up to 20 different light settings, to suit your task or mood. Brightness ranges from 100 to over 1,000 Lux, while colour adjusts from a warm, relaxing 2,700 Kelvin to a cool, white 6,500 Kelvin.

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Italian furniture brand Selva opens its new showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road


LWK + PARTNERS collaborates with RTA for six new public realm projects The MENA Studio of the Hong Kong-based practice LWK + PARTNERS has recently completed a unique package of urban engagement projects in collaboration with Dubai’s RTA, that were approved at the end of April by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The six commissioned projects established an imperative of addressing the need for ‘Urban Transformation’ across the city of Dubai and making it more human-centric. Hanging Garden Bridge (Sky Garden) The bridge spans 380m in length, 60m in height and covers an area of 3,422sqm. It will be a new Dubai landmark and tourist destination for residents and visitors and will connect many of the city’s existing landmarks along the shores of Dubai Creek. Sheikh Zayed Road promenade The promenade is located between Dubai World Trade Centre and Financial Centre Metro Stations and utilises the area underneath the Dubai Metro viaduct, transforming it into a 2.5km green artery for the public to engage in walking, cycling, gathering, and contributing to public events and engagements. Sunset Promenade The new beachfront destination features a

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unique range of activities it covers an area of 80,000sqm connected to Jumeirah Beach Walk and specially designed to cater for family entertainment. Deira Plaza The Plaza will cover an area of 35,000sqm and provides a multi-layered urban public space for entertainment and community activities. Skypods It is estimated that over 70% of the world population will be living in cities by 2050. So. It is imperative that we invest in the new modes of public movement. One such way is the suspended monorail, cable car system. The suspended transit system links vital spots across the city such as the Dubai Financial Centre and the Downtown with the Business Bay. Passing through the Happiness Street and runs up to City Walk, through tracks extending one kilometre in length, the project, which has 21 stations and the capacity to transit 8,400 riders per hour per direction, offers an urban transit experience. Umm Suqeim pedestrian bridge The bridge facilitates better connectivity between Umm Suqeim and Jumeirah. The bridge aims to encourage pedestrian activities and promote safe and environmentally comfortable public spaces across the city.

Selva ME, a leading Italian interior design and furniture retailer, is bolstering its presence in the UAE with the launch of a new outlet. Opening the doors to its first Dubai showroom in 2007, the brand has been beautifying homes in the UAE for over a decade. A destination for contemporary design pieces, Selva ME brings tradition and cutting-edge trends into a spectacular fusion. Housing pieces that are as unique as they are timeless, style is deeply rooted in the brand’s DNA. “With a growing reputation in the GCC, we are pleased to be expanding our reach in the UAE. With branches in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, we are delighted to have the Emirates in our portfolio too”, says Philipp Selva. On a mission to extend its influence around the world, Selva is also participating in the 58th international Salone De Mobile in Milan. The interior retailer will be showcasing a preview of the pont table by Aldo Cibic and the Lucrezia series designed by the architect Frances Colucchese. Additionally, it will also be presenting the Laku armchair with matching ottoman by Toshiyuki Kita, first exhibited in 2018. Selva ME’s outlet in Dubai showcases an avant-garde collection that has been crafted in collaboration with renowned global designers. Its vast product line boasts a blend of classic and current creations. Selva ME will showcase the latest pieces from Salone de Milano in its showroom in Dubai soon.


The French Pavillion at Expo 2020

French Pavilion reveals new details on sustainability Designed by the Atelier du Prado Architectes and Celnikier & Grabli, the French Pavilion at Expo 2020 has light as one of the key inspirations. Directly linked to the flow of visitors as well as the surrounding environment such as the weather and temporality, the French Pavilion’s scenography offers as many visits as there are visitors. Visitor’s will initially be attracted by the building’s exterior design and its lights. Inside, there will be an exhibition of France’s mobility solutions as the pavilion is located in the Mobility District. To better immerse visitor’s in a journey of French culture, there will be a space for boutiques and tasting French cuisine. Outside, the roof and rear facade of the building are covered in a layer of colourful solar panels based on an impressionist palette reminiscent of Monet’s Water Lilies. An approach that forms part of the Materials/Light theme developed by the Pavilion. Each solar panel will evoke a stoke of paint reflecting the French sky in Dubai. With sustainability and France’s ecological ambition in mind, the pavilion has the ability to be dismantled and reused in the future for anything ranging from a museum to an educational centre. Thought and designed as virtuous, it will be deployed according to the 3 pillars of bio-climatism: renewable, clean and controlled energy, sustainable materials, and a circular economy at work. The requirements of the expo bureau (BIE) and Expo 2020’s goal of having the most sustainable exhibition ever posed a challenge in the design and construction process. “Clearly we put the emphasis on the Pavilion’s “second life” after Expo 2020. Our pavilion is easy to reuse and embodies the fantastic history of universal exhibitions, as well as recollections from Dubai 2020. We’re looking at all possible options in that respect”, said Erik Linquier, Commissioner general of the Pavilion France and President of the Compagnie française des expositions (COFREX).

2XL Uptown Mirdiff Mall store reopens after refurbishment

Homegrown furniture and home décor brand, 2XL has reopened its Uptown Mirdiff Mall store in Dubai after refurbishment. The spectacular showroom was officially inaugurated by Suood Al Sadi, general manager of 2XL Furniture & Home Décor. To celebrate the occasion, the store hosted a special welcome reception for its exclusive clientele and patrons showcasing its state-of-the-art facilities boasting the latest 2XL collections. Al Sadi said: “We are very excited to announce the relaunch of our stunning showroom in Uptown Mirdiff Mall spread over an area of 11,800sqft. Many of our customers have made 2XL products a part of their lifestyle, and this new facility, that is of strategic significance for us, will cater to their needs with extraordinary products and service they experience in every 2XL location.” Elaborating on the exceptional concept behind the store’s design, Amit Yadav, head of marketing, 2XL Furniture & Home Décor, said, “Customers engage with content differently today than they used to a few years back. The luxury interiors have been designed taking three distinct aspects into consideration which is form, feel and function that translate into the highest quality, convenience and experience for our buyers.” Yadav further added: “The 2XL store in Uptown Mirdiff Mall has been redesigned to help shoppers navigate better for a unique retail experience. Starting from the impressive 3m high entrance with Turkish limestone marble to natural stone flooring and fabulous colour scheme, everything wows with an inviting and sumptuous atmosphere. Central to the revamp is the new wall ergonomic fixtures for accessories”. Buyers will find at the showroom a magnificent and vast selection of the finest classic and contemporary products beautifully displayed throughout the showroom. The luxe retail brand, that currently has nine showrooms spread across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, and Al Ain, will soon be opening another store in Al Ain.

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Cover Story

THINKING AHEAD: Michael Khoury believes in the power of planning

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Cover Story

Standing the test of time Michael Khoury, general manager of Mirodec Gulf, on inspiring insights of the family-owned business, competitive advantage, and the plans for the future Interview by Roma Arora; photography by Farooq Salik Location courtesy: Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites The beauty of a family-owned business is how everyone shares the same beliefs, ethos, and carries the legacy forward. Personal bonds result in strong commitment, and loyalty that gives a competitive edge over others. Mirodec Gulf is all about this and much more. This Lebanon-based glass manufacturer has grown from strength to strength with each passing generation. Michael Khoury, general manager of Mirodec Gulf, beamingly says: "We take pride in being a family business in its third generation. The journey of this family business started in Lebanon in the 1950s when my grandfather laid the foundation of a small workshop that catered to basic glass and mirror

requirements. In 1982, my father, strategically decided that the company should shift its focus to the creation of bespoke decorative glass and accordingly it was re-branded as Mirodec” (which abbreviates the words ‘Mirror’ and ‘Decoration’)." From early foundation years to creating outstanding products, providing dedicated customer service, as well as generating innovative ideas, Mirodec has come a long way. Khoury continues: "In the past 40+ years, our firm has completed thousands of projects; most of which have been logged as case studies for future reference and development. Accordingly, our competitive advantage is definitely the extensive

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Cover Story

“know-how” which has been fully passed on from generation to generation.” After delivering a series of successful projects in Lebanon, the company decided to venture out and explore the booming market in the UAE. Khoury shares: “In the late 2000s, what started out as a dissertation for a Master’s degree quickly turned into what is known today as 'Mirodec Gulf'. Due to Dubai becoming a central hub for design as well as luxury projects in the region, the company gained great exposure to upcoming projects and cemented itself as the leader in its niche.” From 7-star hotels and presidential palaces to high-end residential villas, and retails shops, Mirodec’s diverse portfolio spans across major sectors including hospitality, residential, commercial, F&B, and governmental projects. Some of the successful commissions include Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, Dubai Metro (developed with KCA International), Cleveland Clinics Abu Dhabi (developed with Aedas), Presidential Palace Abu Dhabi (Qasr Al Watan) which was developed with Xavier Cartron Paris and Wilson Associates. Mirodec is also working with numerous designers on the many different pavilions for Expo 2020 that will constitute the main area of the event. Each pavilion will represent a different country or theme and accordingly has its own unique design. Khoury feels that due to the economic landscape in the region and the volume of projects, everything has become cost-driven and this has led to a lot of value engineering. In Lebanon on the other hand, and due to the smaller scale of the projects, value engineering is not as prevalent. It is worthy to note though, that the pace of projects is much faster in Dubai as the city is constantly growing. Khoury tells: "For example and as previously mentioned, ever since the city was awarded the hosting privilege of Expo 2020, we have been working on various pavilions which must be completed by mid 2020 and accordingly we are expecting a busy and exciting year ahead." Khoury knows it’s a dynamic industry where everyone wants to gain market share. This is where the family values and learnings passed on to the younger generation are considered integral. Mirodec’s core strength lies in the unity of its third generation, represented by Khoury and his two siblings, both of which are also involved in the business in Lebanon and the UAE. All three unanimously agree that the ongoing guidance and experience provided by the second generation,

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Private villa in Jordan

represented by their father, is considered no less than a treasure. The best advice Khoury has received is— ‘Nothing is constant but change’ and he credits this for all the success Mirodec has achieved so far. “Our greatest success in the business has been adapting to the changing industry while maintaining constant year-on-year growth. In the past five years in the UAE, our industry has unfortunately witnessed eight competitors close down due to the inability to keep up with the ever-changing dynamics. Manufacturing and contracting are industries with high overheads. Companies cannot become complacent because failure to quickly adapt will almost certainly result in a catastrophic outcome,” claims Khoury. A business faces a range of challenges, which have to be overcome. Since Mirodec manufactures bespoke products, the most common fault contractors tend to make is obtaining quotations from the market and assuming that they can safely compare them using the “apple to apple” method. While this might apply to basic items, it does not

apply to most decorative ones. Khoury adds: “Major differences in estimation can arise due to the different source of material, the techniques used and their relative workmanship, as well as the method of installation proposed. Our first major challenge is to convince the contractor that we have been specified by the consultant for a reason. The second is to convince them that the price difference is justified.” Khoury knows how to deal with the pain points and challenges that come along in the business. He says: “One of our favourite quotes states that ‘The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten’. We generally avoid price wars and instead focus on giving our clients the best value for their money. Our USP is quality and unmatchable service. Our clientele includes companies who are willing to pay that slight premium and ensure that their projects will be delivered on time and that their inspections will be approved by the consultant. Internally, quality is still the forefront of everything we do. We only hire those with strong skill-sets and ensure that our salaries are

Cover Story

Dubai Metro

Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

LEADING ALL THE WAY: Khoury motivates his employees and works towards building a strong team spirit

above the market standard to reward this fact. We offer progressive training for all our staff, striving to constantly improve their professional development. In turn, we boast a solid zero incident rate.â&#x20AC;?

From classic hand-made pieces assembled by skilled artists to modern panels created using the latest technologies, Mirodec offers the full range of techniques possible in the world

of decorative glass and mirrors. Glass can be used limitlessly in interiors; from floorings to ceilings passing through the staircase (such as the renowned Apple Floating Staircase). Due to

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Cover Story

Dubai Downtown Design

hygiene and ease of maintenance, hospitals have all their walls cladded with back-painted glass. Due to the ability to control the material from being transparent to translucent to Opaque, partitions are most commonly done in glass. In furniture, a designer can develop glass tables and benches as well as customised bowls and plates which are common for the retail and hospitality industries. With the ability to print on glass, some designers are even replacing traditional paintings with high-resolution UV printed glass. Khoury says: “Laminating decorative interlayers in between two glass panels is definitely a technique, which has been constantly on the rise. Although it is not a new technique, we have managed to develop it in a way designers have embraced. We have developed partnerships with world-renowned brands that produce fabrics and metal mesh, which we laminate seamlessly in glass, providing the end-user with a durable and easy to maintain high-end decorative product. Also, instead of beveling the edges of glass or mirrors,

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Qasr Al Watan -Presidential Palace, Abu Dhabi

another trending technique is V-grooving the face of the panel which gives a special 3D effect.” "In line with showcasing the numerous possibilities available in the field of glass, we were proud to display our work at the latest Dubai Downtown Design exhibition. Our “Glass Forest” concept, designed in collaboration with the renowned Xavier Cartron, was well-received and proved a major success in highlighting the vast versatility of glass as an element utilised in interior design," shares Khoury. There is a lot one can do using glass and mirrors and the knowledge needs to be spread. Designers who understand its potential ultimately utilise their talent to develop it in the most beautiful ways. Mirodec helps designers reach that stage. “Amongst our customers are interior design firms and freelance designers. Although this is a “nonpaying” category, we believe it is crucial to help them understand the versatility of the product and its limitations. A designer works with several different materials and should not be expected

Cover Story

EXTREMELY DRIVEN: Khoury's positive attitude leads to success

Cleveland Clinic, Abu Dhabi

to know all the particulars. As a specialist in glass, Mirodec is proud to service most interior design companies in the UAE by providing them customised samples and helping them write down precise project specifications,” says Khoury. Khoury further adds: “Another category of customers includes contractors and fit-out specialists. While it is common for most contractors to seek the lowest priced supplier, we tend to work with the more experienced ones who are aware of the risks of going down that route.” Historically, end-users used to be the smallest category in business for Mirodec, yet in the last few years, this trend has changed drastically. “There’s a sharp increase in the business generated by the end-users. In general, people today are more aware of design. With the presence of apps such as Pinterest, anyone can access a pool of ideas and decide what they would like to implement in their homes. When people walk into ‘Qasr Al Watan’ in Abu Dhabi and realise that the main feature domes and skylights were manufactured locally, they take notice. The common reasoning for villa owners in the UAE has now become 'Why go to Italy to manufacture my double curved skylight when I can easily visit and inspect the facility, and fully

customise the product to my own liking?'." Khoury has some solid plans for the future and is working towards it. Mirodec is currently, completing the plans of building a new work plant, which can accommodate the growing demand for both glass and metal divisions. Khoury says: “To help showcase the vast number of techniques achievable in the industry, this new establishment will also have the biggest decorative glass showroom in the UAE. Also, before the end of the year, we are scheduled to go live with our new online catalogue, which will assist designers in accessing our wide range of products. In conjunction, we will be launching our new cloudbased ERP which will allow our customers to request their samples and quotations directly from our website. We are also in the early stages of discussing a potential partnership with one of our key clients in KSA. They are keen to bring the brand under their umbrella and we are excited at the prospect of having a full-time presence in this growing market.” The third generation is certainly carrying on the family legacy forward and ensuring enhanced growth and continued success. More power to you!

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The Door Specialist Paul Haslam, partner at Bauporte Gulf, on how their bespoke entrance systems are going to be a game changer in this region Tell us something about Bauporte. Bauporte was started by Karel Bouman in 1992 in Amsterdam. Bouman took over the German company Grothkarst in 1996 who were a German door producer. They had been making high-quality doors since 1908. The reason to start the business was to fill a gap in the market for custom-made doors. The market was full of companies making standard revolving doors but Bauporte has found a niche where clients want and expect something special. To date, we have produced doors over 9m tall and 6m wide with a reach across Europe, UK, Caribbean, USA, and Iceland

The brand has recently opened its Dubai office. How has been the response so far? In the first six months of operation, Bauporte Gulf has secured new projects with Omniyat at Opus and Dubai Real Estate Company in their new offices at Jumeirah. Enquires and negotiations are ongoing in Kuwait, India, Korea, and Saudi Arabia as well. The response so far has been really encouraging, far more than we expected in our first year.

Could you tell us more about your first project in the UAEâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Museum of the Future? In 2018, Bauporte were appointed to produce the custom-designed revolving doors for the Museum of the Future. A collaborative design with Shaun Killa and Meraas, the doors will be 4m wide and 5m high with an all-glass construction including the canopy. With a single floor mounted drive, this will be the first-of-its-kind in the UAE. The doors are due for completion on site this year in advance of the museum opening in 2020.

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Paul Haslam


How do you see the industry at the large here? As discussed above, the market is very challenging at the moment. I think the Dubai market might slow down after 2020 but other markets have a positive outlook especially Kuwait, KSA, and India.

What are in your opinion the upcoming trends?

Museum of the Future

What kind of materials you usually work with and why? Bauporte produces doors using stainless steel, the best German motors, and high-quality European glass. We believe that this makes the difference in quality, which means we can offer customers a lifetime warranty rather than the usual 12 months. We are currently reviewing the use of IOT sensor kits to provide real-time data on all our installations.

he ends up procuring a cheaper door. Another issue that I have noticed is that the payment in the region is delayed on every project, the specialists blame the main contractor and the main contractor blames the client. With the doors always being the last item to be installed, these delays in the cash flow can make budgeting and planning extremely difficult.

Price is always an issue but more and more architects realise that the entrance is the most important part of the building and therefore deserves special attention. Glass doors are getting popular, doors, which are taller than the usual height, are also in trend (we currently have a project in Moscow with 8.5m tall revolving doors). We can offer remote access to the doors. Another amazing thing is that doors are getting more intelligent with the introduction of IOT and the ability to be net zero.

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next for Bauporte? We expect a positive 2019 in this region. Also, markets such as Kuwait, KSA, and India are showing great signs of business growth. We expect to have a second factory in Europe this year and possibly to start our own production in the Middle East by the end of 2020.

Office Westend Carree, Frankfurt, Germany

Who are your key clients? Our clients are usually developers and building owners, but we often work for main contractors and facade specialists when the doors are included within the façade package.

What are the biggest challenges you are currently facing? I genuinely think there are two issues in our business right now. First, clients have great expectations in terms of the quality of the product, but when the project is awarded to a contractor, because of the budget constraint,

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Exploring the historical treasure Al-‘Ula in Saudi Arabia

Adrian Welch, senior architect at Godwin Austen Johnson talks about the Al Sharaan project in Al-‘Ula


audi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman launched his vision of a mega tourism project at the ancient site of Al-‘Ula in February 2019. The vision features a resort and nature reserve called ‘Sharaan’. The vision also includes the establishment of the Global Fund for the protection and revitalisation of the Arabian leopard. The project at the ancient rock heritage site will be designed by the Pritzker-winning architect of the Louvre Abu Dhabi in UAE, Jean Nouvel.

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Al-'Ula’s history Al-'Ula is a small ancient community in North Western Saudi Arabia, located on the former Incense route. It is sited 300km North of Medina and was the capital of the ancient Lihyanites (Dedanites). The governorate contains the first UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Saudi Kingdom, called Madain Saleh (Hegra), built more than 2,000 years ago by the Nabataeans. The historic site has some similarities to Jordan's world-famous Petra but is not yet well known outside KSA.

It will be important to balance the needs of tourism against nature preservation. The protection of the Arabian leopard needs not to be a token gesture but be a fully funded conservation plan to ring-fence suitable habitat for the animals away from the main tourist areas. Al-‘Ula has the potential to be one of the most important archaeological destinations for tourists from across the world. KSA is, of course, best-known for Mecca which experiences massive influxes of visitors for the Haj. Riyadh and Jeddah are not generally


Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa in Abu Dhabi

considered tourist hot spots like Dubai or Sharm El Sheikh. Economic diversification The biggest Arab economy and the world’s top oil exporter is increasingly making forays into the tourism sector to diversify its economy. Saudi Arabia has started construction work on the Amaala project on the North Western coast of Saudi Arabia. This massive Red Sea Project - so-called 'Riviera of the Middle East - that includes a nature reserve and heritage sites and

spans about 50 islands as the kingdom seeks to boost the contribution of the tourism sector to the economy. The resort located within the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve is to include nearly 1,500 square miles of luxury hotels, villas, and shops. KSA is also building Neom, a $500bn ‘futuristic business and industrial city’, which extends into Egypt and Jordan. Finally, the Qiddiya entertainment development near Riyadh will include high-end theme parks, motorsport facilities and a safari

park, with involvement from American theme park corporation Six Flags. It has been dubbed Saudi Arabia's answer to Silicon Valley and Disneyland. Al-'Ula tourism project in more detail Saudi Arabia signed a 10-year deal with the French government in April that includes provisions for hotels, transport infrastructure and a world-class culture and art museum. It is interesting the deal is done with France rather than closer partners the USA and UK. France, of

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course, has a strong presence in North Africa so its presence is partly embedded in this Western region of KSA. A major integrated archaeological survey of Al-‘Ula valley and beyond has been launched by the commission, charged with protecting and regenerating this North Western region. Some of the sites - including the World Heritage Site of Madain Saleh - are closed until 2020. This is to allow a suitable conservation and development plan to be established. Thousands of years ago the North Western Saudi city of Al-‘Ula was a key stop on the Incense Route. It was important for buying and selling spices, silks .and incense. The city was also a major metropolis of the Nabataean Empire, second only to its capital Petra, now in Jordan. Al Sharaan At the heart of the project will be Al Sharaan Nature Reserve, a 925sqkm space set to make the most of the rocky landscape. The project will focus on the natural integrity of Al-‘Ula and aims to re-establish the rich diversity of plant life and wildlife that once flourished here. A luxury retreat designed by the Pritzker-winning architect will open inside the reserve, consisting of 25 suites, 10 pavilions and five resort-style residential estates. Completion is due for 2023. There will also be 40 additional residential estates, as well as an international summit centre, restaurants, and a luxury spa. Celebrated French architect Jean Nouvel will design the project and plans to draw inspiration from the light and the landscapes of Al-‘Ula. A similar project is the Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa in Abu Dhabi, notionally modelled on an old Arabian Village, connecting out to the desert landscape. Discrete courtyards, narrow streets, and shaded gardens all offer selected views out to the desert in the pareddown design by Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ). Construction is expected to begin early in 2020, with a completion date set for 2030. As part of the development, the Crown Prince also announced the establishment of a Global Fund for the critically endangered Arabian leopard. Less than 200 are still alive so this proposal is very welcome. The Al

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Adrian Welch, senior architect at Godwin Austen Johnson

Sharaan nature reserve aims to allow the creatures to be released and reintroduced to Saudi Arabia. It will be fascinating to see how plans to responsibly transform the city into a worldwide heritage destination for tourists develop

alongside the less heritage-focused projects at Neom and Qiddiya. The key will be to distil the essence of the local landscape and built traditions in order to develop a new architecture rooted in its Middle Eastern context.


Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre Al Ain, Abu Dhabi

Sintoho, Four Seasons Hotel Al Mirqab, Kuwait

No. 57 Boutique CafĂŠ Al Bateen Harbour, Abu Dhabi

Since 1998, Havelock One Interiors has established itself as a leading turnkey fit-out service provider in the Middle East. We specialise in interior contracting and manufacturing of bespoke joinery, metal works and shop-fittings. Being driven by the aspiration to deliver exceptional work through the power of thoughtful precision, Havelock One supports its demanding clients with high-end services and products for hospitality, F&B, retail, commercial, government, entertainment and selected residential projects.

Havelock One. Consider it done.

industry insight

Building a better tomorrow How innovative learning environment has a positive impact on the students and teachers. Not only it inspires but also helps in building and strengthening human connections


esigning schools within a community has an immense impact on how communities grow and are represented. Their design is very important to society and its future. Paul Stevens, senior principal, Canada office and Maryam Nademi, project manager, Dubai office from ZAS Group of Companies on the importance of design in the education sector with references drawn from their projects. ZAS is one of Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading designers of architecture, interior space, and sustainable urban places. The firm has its offices in North America and CIS and is operating in the Gulf region since 2004. ZAS has designed over 400 education facilities. Paul Stevens and Maryam Nademi from ZAS take us through the critical design aspects of educational buildings

The green wall and pool features at Prince Sultan College for the Visually Impaired provide a calm oasis for VI students that stimulates their senses of sound, smell, and touch

How are we bringing the change? Vision and mission of the leadership in the GCC (UAE and KSA) is preparing future leaders in various fields of knowledge, enriching and developing intelligence, exploring innovative methodologies and technologies and breaking the barriers between academic and business society. ZAS is currently designing a college for visually impaired which is located in Khobar, Saudi Arabia â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Prince

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industry insight

RIT campus in Dubai

Sultan College for the Visually Impaired (PSCVI) PSCVI, like Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University (PMU), honours the traditions and culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia without compromising the state-of-the-art technological advancements and contemporary teaching practices. PSCVI will provide a world-class environment for its students and fulfill its mission to prepare and qualify the visually impaired through learning and training opportunities to be self-sufficient, integrate into the community workplace and to fulfill their aspirations in life.

Effective classroom designs We all know how to build square classrooms and put tables and chairs into them and maybe even a data connection and a projector. But today’s education facilities require IT-rich rooms that aren’t used for conventional lecturing but for interactive problem solving by the students. An effective classroom is an “active learning classroom” and facilitates spontaneous interactions. Interactive environment that is not about regimented curriculum delivery but about group learning and problem-solving.

The approach Educational facilities have an aggressive schedule with an immovable end date for occupancy because owners cannot miss the opening date and beginning of the education season and they have to accommodate students at school at the beginning of the year. The greatest requirement of the education facility projects is the ability to plan, design, and construct a unique building under a short and inflexible timeline. We have to be collaborative, responsive and find as many ways as possible to speed up construction without compromising design. Various trades have to work in lockstep and collaboratively to make these happen.

Open spaces In a campus design, we see open/social spaces as an opportunity to create a gateway link to the entire campus. Open/social spaces could provide platforms to the education facility as an anchoring element. Classes can be located along with grade level and open up on to a multi-use courtyard that is also capable of being an outdoor classroom. Social spaces should be integrated throughout. In The Lassonde School of Engineering at York University, we have arrived at a design that put student productivity at the top of the agenda, with optimized spaces for learning, discovery and interaction. Areas such as “Design Commons” are described as “a gathering place for learning where students are

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The undulating façade of Bergeron Centre is comprised of a series of triangles positioned according to a precise and complex algorithm

At the new center, student spaces take priority over faculty and staff

Paul Stevens

encouraged to foster entrepreneurial ideas and prototype them,” and “dedicated entrepreneurial lounges/presentation rooms” where students can pitch their ideas to outside firms. Design impacts learning and teaching Good design creates a landscape for learning, a hub for entrepreneurship, collaboration, and creativity, the facility’s design should aim to advance education and provide a platform to educate the next generation: a creative problem solver and entrepreneurial leader with a social conscience. The imaginative space design should push the boundaries for an equally imaginative approach to teaching, one that will empower and cultivate a new breed of globally aware and socially conscious students/graduates.

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Common misconception One common misconception is that the best spaces should belong to the faculty. In Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence, York University, we flipped the building, giving the best spaces to students. Faculty offices are located in the centre of the building and social spaces, labs, and classrooms along outside walls to maximise natural light and provide inspiring views. This approach not only keeps students focussed, alert and happy, but it also encourages professors to go outside their offices and interact with students. Green schools The topic of “Green schools” is increasing in importance, driven by greater public

environmental awareness and rising energy and operation costs. ZAS has been commissioned to provide a green schools resource guide, a practical manual for planning and building green schools in Ontario. The development of this manual was initiated by the Ontario Association of School Boards Officials’ Effectiveness and Efficiency Committee, and funded by the Ministry of Education. The committee identified several key issues regarding “Green Schools” that were of concern to its member; Increased information sharing among Ontario School Boards on Green School best practices and benchmarks would be a positive development; Pooling resources to commission an Ontario Green School manual would be the most effective way to bring best practices and benchmark information to all


Maryam Nademi

boards. To address these concerns the committee commissioned ZAS Architects and Halsall Associates to complete a manual that would disseminate (in some cases, hard-won) lessons learned by Ontario and other School Boards. ZAS’ note-worthy projects in the region We have designed a British curriculum school in Abu Dhabi, an American curriculum school in Sharjah, both elementary and secondary school prototypes for the ministry of education in Saudi Arabia. We have also designed Quranic schools in KSA and two of the largest university campuses in Libya. Currently, we are designing two education facility projects in the Middle East— Prince Sultan College for the Visually Impaired (PSCVI), Saudi Arabia and RIT campus in Dubai.

At RIT Campus in Dubai, internal courtyard accommodates the heart of facility “the innovation lab” creating a social space where the collaboration happens

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Entrance and waiting area with the unique sofas and central lighting in the shape of sun rays by MOOOI

Walking in clouds

Glimpses of the Cloud Eleven Beauty Salon by MuSe Interior Design


nspired by the concept of blue skies, the Cloud Eleven Beauty Salon in Jumeirah, Dubai is delightful and charming in every possible way. MuSe Interior Design wanted to create a perfect place for the ladies where they can relax and enjoy their ‘me time’. Michael Dudnyk, head of the company and project consultant at MuSe Interior Design, says: “Our objective was to create space for ladies, where they not only get the beauty and spa ser-

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vices but feel like soaring in the clouds. To execute this dreamy feel, we especially developed a unique design of each seating area—soft and comfortable, with all the shades from blue to azure. Of course, what is the sky without birds? We crafted feather chandeliers for central areas which is one of the highlights here.” Soft colours and elegant décor just gives a calming and soothing effecting to space. Pure white colour on the wall, bright accents, artwork depict-

ing the overall theme, all this is complemented by amazing architectural lighting solutions. The project was started at the beginning of January 2019 and the execution works were kicked off in February. “This G+1 villa on Al Wasl road previously was also a beauty salon. But to create this unique styled theme, we decided to remove old partitions, ceilings, and flooring. Civil and MEP works were done within 2.5 months and in the middle of April 2019, the salon was launched.”


Pedicure area

The manicure area features comfortable blue chairs

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Torno Subito by Bishop Design

F&B CONCEPTS & CHALLENGES What makes a restaurant concept succeed over others? Let’s find out… By Roma Arora


he passion for food has increased over the years and simultaneously interiors and the design concept of restaurants and bars have also played to the success of the F&B industry. People want to spend on the experience and clever and smart designs with unique mixes that will drive repeat business. Design firms are creating striking

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and memorable spaces using various design elements. We spoke to the leading experts in the region who’re creating spaces that are comfortable and visually stimulating What makes a restaurant successful? Space must function well for operations and customers alike, proper space planning; zoning

and flow are all crucial aspects to having a successfully designed restaurant. After all, what’s the point in having an Instagramable or gold star designed restaurant if it doesn’t function or work? Nicola Fahy, head of F&B Design, Studio EM, explains: “First and foremost with restaurants, the success comes down to the main components of the offering (F&B),


value, service, and location. These core pillars need to be in place well before considering the design. There’s no point in having an amazing space if these four pillars aren’t structurally sound, as can be seen with many design awardwinning restaurants having closed down. That being said, if these are in place, then the design can play an even more important role in helping the restaurant to reach the upper echelons of what’s popular, trendy and a place that captivates a reoccurring audience.” One of the most important aspects of a place is its functionality. Fahy adds: “In terms of design, a great aesthetic is off course paramount, but the aesthetic must be equally matched if not more so by the function of the space. I’ve seen it so many times with design award-winning restaurants, where they look amazing, but I am crammed in my seat, too close to the next person, or backed in an odd corner or just badly positioned, it can lead to an uncomfortable experience, no matter how gorgeous the surroundings are around me. So for me, get the function right, then make it look amazing.”

Fitzroy at The Pointe by Creneau International

Nicola Fahy, Studio Em

Trends A restaurant should be appealing as well as engaging at the same time. Interior designer Paul Bishop from Bishop Design, says: “I believe we are experiencing the demand for venues that break the boundaries of what customers have become accustomed to. At the heart of this method lies a narrative behind the venue. Customers’ desire for a connection and memorable experience is rapidly increasing. It is becoming less acceptable to create a venue that is merely aesthetically pleasing, but rather we are now more challenged than ever to create an engaging venue that will remain prominent in people’s minds.” Long gone are the days when design used to be only about aesthetics and taste. Today, the design is all about strategic decision-making considering the social, environmental, and economic impacts of a project with technology advancements in the forefront. Rosha Ehsan, interior designer, Creneau International, shares: “Materials and finishes used in the process of designing determine the look and feel of the place. The selection of materials and finishes is usually based on their esthetical characteristics. We are now taking

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Brew92, Riyadh by Liqui Group


into account more ethical characteristics of the resources needed— their origin, lifespan, production methods, and reusability of materials. Our R&D department is constantly on the lookout for new materials that correspond to these new standards. Most of these materials are newly developed. The lower demand for these materials can but does not necessary implicate a higher cost.”

Paul Bishop from Bishop Design

Operational efficiency Most of the restaurants miss out on this important aspect at the planning stage itself. Operational efficiency is central to any successful F&B design. Fahy feels: “Function over form, each and every day of the week, I do question how with restaurants in Europe or the US as an example, a server or waiter can cover

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Cameron Fry, Liqui Group

Rosha Ehsan, Creneau International

Wagamama Dubai Mall by Studio Em

30 covers without much hassle, whereas here, due to the high rents and demand for yield we are cramming covers into spaces that don’t work operationally and throwing five or five staff to cover those same 30 covers, it’s a bit of a mess at times and can lead to a poor experience.” The operational layout of key functions needs to be designed with accuracy and precision, which should lead to maximum efficiency. Fry also ranks operational efficiency in the top order. He says: “Obviously, this aspect is very important but it's a challenge, it needs to be as operationally efficient as possible without it feeling like you're sitting in a machine that's just there to make money. You need to make compromises on both ends, otherwise, it can end up feeling a bit cold and sterile.”

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Pain points What we see at a restaurant comes after a lot of planning and overcoming challenges. Cameron Fry, founder of Liqui Group lists few pain points: “The main challenge for us is the choice of materials available, a lot of stuff has to be imported specially and with ever-changing regulations, this can be a challenge in itself.” Fahy further highlights how because of the increasing costs of a restaurant, the designers have to execute a project within a tight budget. She shares: “The challenges in the region are largely budget-based. With such high rents and operating costs, the budgets for design and implementation are constantly being squeezed, it seems most designs are now being value engineered, meaning great concepts are being watered down due to cost implications.” Another challenge that Fahy is facing in the region is the rise of incubators and central kitchen operating as 3rd party deliveries, “whilst it’s great for the consumer, we’re losing that customer interaction and ambience that bricks and mortar concepts bring. We’re losing the brand identity and ethos and selling it for cheap and quick eats rather than experiences.” Sustainability A term used extensively throughout the industry over recent years and one we have certainly been more aware of, and integrate this way of thinking as much as possible in our designs. Bishop adds: “We only use LED lighting in our projects as an example, and it is widely used across Dubai and surrounding emirates. Clients, in particular, are becoming more knowledgeable about sustainability, and many ask us before commencing the project ‘How does your design achieve sustainability?’ It is a method of thinking we have had to rapidly adapt and evolve with. In recent years, there has been an incredible lust for local suppliers and artisans, which I believe to be an incredible asset to the region’s economy.” It’s amazing to see how designers and firms are taking the concept of sustainability seriously and talking about it. Serge Haelterman, creative director, Creneau International shares: “Let’s be honest, we as designers are partly responsible for an overload of unnecessary stuff in a world that cannot take any more stuff.

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Serge Haelterman, Creneau International

We believe design (thinking) can be one of the driving forces for the change we need to keep this world inhabitable. The design should no longer think about how it can be original to be original, how it can come up with something nobody else has thought of just for the sake of being unique. This to us is a perverted vision of design and innovation. It’s a reversal of means and objectives. So instead of worrying about being the most original kid in class, we need to use our intellect and creativity to come up with ideas that try and make this world a better place for all future generations. It is clear to us that we at Creneau as designers, builders, and operators will not be at the forefront of world-

changing innovations, yet we know we can contribute in our own humble way.” Liqui Group values simple, honest, and functional designs using sustainable materials. “It's the reason I started the company 11 years ago. I believe it's our job as designers to make sustainability attractive, it shouldn't be a choice to be sustainable, it should be the only option if we want to leave the next generation with something that's worth inhabiting. We're not perfect as a company and working internationally is difficult when it comes to sustainability but we are constantly striving to improve our processes and try to lead by example,” signs off Fry.

DĂŠcor review

The splendor of the sand dunes Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi evokes the atmosphere of a traditional Bedouin village in modern setting


tâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a paradise in the desert! Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa is set deep within the desert landscape, this luxurious resort is located 50 kilometres to the South East of Abu Dhabi, in an area where natural beauty abounds. 80 guest rooms, 10 suites, and 13 villas, inspired by traditional tents, offer a chic setting to relax in this rustic desert environment. The refined interiors incorporate traditionally inspired artwork and Arabesque accessories, alongside the latest technological features for contemporary ease. Design Middle East took the tour of this amazing resort and discussed with the management team everything related to the design, dĂŠcor, culinary experience, sustainability, and more.

How proper design helps in delivering better service, both in guestrooms and in public areas? The rooms are designed to give a sense of space with careful attention paid to the materials used, to reflect the Arabian inspiration while

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featuring modern enhancements. Every room and suite has their own private terrace or balcony, allowing guests to connect with the resort and the desert. Each building features hidden elevators that help maintain the authenticity of the architecture, while also providing additional accessibility for guests and service equipments. The architecture is inspired by the growth of Arabian village pathways that allow guests to explore the resort and discover the intricate detailing, while the intertwined staircases and passageways allow for speedy service of colleagues.

As a hotel, how do you remain a part of the local community, whilst still attracting guests from further afield? As a part of the local community, Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa includes local points of attraction in the guest experience, such as the Camel Race Track and Emirates Endurance Village, and also offers tours to the Al Wathba Wetland reserve and other key attractions in Abu Dhabi. Guests can

DĂŠcor review

Quintessential Arabian-style resort sprawls over 22,000sqm of tranquil desert

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Décor review

Living room of One Bedroom Villa

also experience local traditions on the resort premises such as age-old techniques of basket weaving and bakhoor making.

Talk us a little through the Arabic influences in your designs for this hotel? The design of the resort draws inspiration from the historic desert village, which has existed in this region for hundreds of years. The form and layout help create a village ambience consistent with these ancient developments, where the random organic arrangement of the buildings and streets create a unique sense of intimacy, while also serving a practical function of providing much-needed shelter from the desert sun and heat.

Tell us something about the restaurants at the resort and their designs? Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa features six restaurants and bars inspired by Emirati cuisine and Arabic design. –– The signature Al Mabeet Desert Camp is an elegant interpretation and homage to nomadic living, capturing the Bedouin spirit. Set apart from the resort, the organic shape of the camp resembles the dunes of the desert in which it is embedded. Live Arabic music filters through

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and local delicacies are served for dinner. –– Hayaakom is the lobby lounge at Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa. Meaning ‘welcome’ in Arabic, Hayaakom sets guests up for a great arrival to the resort, one that is just like the entry hall of an intimate yet luxurious family desert house. –– Hayaakom features the main entrance with a beautiful water fountain and an impressive chandelier where guests are first greeted when they step into the resort. –– Bait Al Hanine is conceptualised as the resort’s gathering place, emulating old Bedouin traditions of eating and sharing food together. Bright and spacious, with different sections as well as an indoor and outdoor space, chefs offer a taste of Arabia where flavours of the desert are brought to life. Classic Lebanese dishes are made in big open-style kitchens showcasing charcoal kebab grills and a traditional Saj oven. –– Terra Secca is an upscale trattoria set in the midst of a boutique desert resort. Full of Italian charm and warmth, the design blends rustic finishes with contemporary accents, resulting in an atmosphere that is beautiful and sophisticated. –– The magic of the desert comes to life at Al Mesayan, a rooftop bar on the first floor overlooking the infinite Arabian desert, where sunsets are simply breathtaking.

What is one thing/area guests must try when they are at the resort? Here are some standout features that add to an unforgettable experience: • The heart of the resort —1,000sqm infinity pool overlooking the desert is the must-try spot on the resort • The Cryo Room at Talise Spa- one of the regions foremost all-encompassing Cryotherapy facilities, where guests can relax and rejuvenate as they take in the tranquillity of the resort. • Discover the desert with activities inspired by local traditions and culture.

What difficulties come with maintaining a luxury hotel in a desert region? The elements play a big role in the maintenance of the resort, but with a highly trained team, we try to ensure a memorable, relaxing and unhindered guest experience.

How technology is enhancing the consumer experience? Technology plays a big role in providing facilities like the Cryo treatment room and snow cave, which offer guests an experience unique to the resort. A newly introduced E- butler system allows guest to interact and request services from the palm of their hands. While there are

DĂŠcor review

One Bedroom Suite

Talise Spa

various new technological enhancements across the resort, the key is to allow guests to retreat from the city life and immerse themselves in an authentic experience.

Is sustainability important for the resort? If so, how do you work it into your designs? The resort is built between protected sections of

fossilised dunes. Keeping that in mind, the resort team ensures that we maintain and protect the dunes in the activities that we offer. From fatbike rides to horse riding, the activities allow us to preserve the resort natural environment and maintain the delicate balance of the flora and fauna. The resort also takes time to plant trees that are indigenous to the area like the Ghaf Tree, which is the national tree of the UAE.

Axel Jarosch, general manager, Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa

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Talking point

Celebrating a momentous milestone

Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah completes five years and there are unmissable offers you should know 46 |

July 2019

Talking point

Peacock Valley at the hotel


tâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a significant year for Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah as the luxury hotel has completed five years in Dubai in March 2019, since the grand opening of its doors in 2014. The ultra-luxurious resort has established its status in the city through its operational success, world-class culinary experiences, and outstanding service. The 319 elegant rooms and luxurious suites are designed in a subtle beach palette of ivory, sand and soft turquoise. Each room extends over a generous space of 52sqm or more with contemporary European furnishings and bespoke lighting reflecting the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

The iconic clock

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Talking point

To celebrate five memorable years, the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah unveils an impressive line-up of once-in-a-lifetime offers: Celebratory package • One night stay in one of the luxurious guestrooms or suites • For an additional AED5 per person per night choose from either a breakfast, lunch or dinner served at Mezzerie, a high-tea at Peacock Alley, a beverage package to be availed in Serafina or Peacock Alley between 6:00pm to 8:00pm which consists of soft drinks, house wines and beers from a selected list or a pampering 30-minutes Anne Semonin massage at the Waldorf Astoria Spa • Complimentary access to the spa facilities including Himalayan salt stone sauna, aromatic steam room, herbal sauna, experience showers, and waterbeds • Access to the two swimming pools and sandy private beach Prices start from AED1,200 Summer afternoon tea Peacock Alley | May 1-August 31, 2019 | 2:30pm – 6:00pm The hotel invites guests to celebrate five years at the elegant place to be and be seen, the iconic Peacock Alley. Guests are set to enjoy a threetier special afternoon tea featuring sweet and savoury pastries including the signature Waldorf Astoria red velvet cheesecake accompanied by the exclusive TWG tea. AED 80 per person Delightful spa offer Enliven the five senses for AED555 at Waldorf Astoria Spa April 1–December 31, 2019 | 10:00am – 9:00pm Guests will be stimulating their five essential senses of visual, hearing, smell, touch, and taste through an exclusive journey including a foot ritual with aromatherapy scrub, followed by a mindfulness meditation and a relaxing 60 minutes full body massage. An unforgettable pampering that deserves to be cherished. 90 minutes | AED 555 per person

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understated elegance. Generous furnished balconies overlook breathtaking panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf, iconic Palm Jumeirah, and Dubai skyline. There’s a history, which is worth knowing. The Waldorf Astoria, which opened in New York in 1931, has long been known for the distinctive clock, which is located in the centre of the lobby. The clock is a unique timepiece that served as a beacon— before the dawn of modern technology through to today’s contemporary lifestyle as a place where guests and socialites

would gather. Guests can find a sculptural clock prominently situated at the centre of Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah's lobby, along with many Waldorf Astoria hotels around the world. Another interesting thing to notice at the hotel is the iconic Peacock Valley. Fusing Mid-town Manhattan heritage with contemporary views of the Palm Jumeirah, Peacock Alley reflects the two metropolitan hotspots, New York City and Dubai in the form of an elegant tea lounge overlooking the Waldorf Astoria’s scenic central gardens. Once a daily walkway connecting The Waldorf and The

Talking point

Dining room at the Royal Suite

Astoria hotels in New York City, the term ‘Peacock Alley’- was coined to portray the daily promenade of notables through the original colonnade. A tradition that continues today, Peacock Alley is an elegant lounge celebrated as a place 'to see and be seen' and can be found at Waldorf Astoria hotels around the globe. The stunning Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah provides an idyllic destination for the fairytale weddings as well. Meticulous attention to detail inspired catering services, and seamless organisation by our expert staff, all within a

setting of glamorous beach resort luxury. Offering a home away from home the luxurious Waldorf Astoria is set to create unforgettable moments during your stay. Guests can choose to unwind at the awardwinning Waldorf Astoria Spa or dine at one of the luxurious six restaurants with an incredible variety of cuisines, from Vietnamese to a finedining culinary experience at Social by Heinz Beck. Elsewhere, they can take a dip in one of the two temperature-controlled swimming pools, take a stroll in the tranquil gardens or

by the beach and enjoy sports activities at the extensive fitness centre, tennis court or a variety of water sports. David Wilson, general manager, comments: “I would like to thank our hardworking team and valued guests for being a part of this unforgettable journey. This exciting milestone marks five memorable years, and also marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter. To honour the occasion, we’ve launched some extra-special offers to ensure everyone is able to join us in the celebrations.”

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Supplier focus

Vintage style bulbs are back in trend

Light It Right Latest innovations and trends by leading lighting suppliers in the region

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Supplier focus

Ambiance, Alshaya Enterprises About the brand Ambiance division from Alshaya Enterprises is specialised in professional lighting solutions that bring spaces to life and make them more charming, productive and safe. Ambiance offers a wide range of high-quality products and reliable brands enable them to work on all kinds of environments: interior and exterior, technical and decorative. From developing the lighting concept up to the supply and installation, Ambiance offers the best support everywhere at any time in order to satisfy all the aesthetic, functional, and budgetary goals of any project. The organisation sees huge potential in lighting and is, therefore, investing heavily in expansion plans in the entire region especially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with their promising 2030 Vision.

Trends Lighting can simply make or break a room - several trends that have emerged in lighting seem to continue trending in 2019. LED is the absolute and undisputed standard nowadays. Trends like industrial minimalism are getting very popularâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Where combining of raw industrial shapes and finishes with the warm hues of Edison light bulbs looks amazing. Also, vintage bulbs have taken the centrestage and more variations of the famous Edison-style bulbs is attracting the clients. Latest launches The latest trends in decorative lighting with many design award winners can be seen in the Alshaya Enterprises stand during the Downtown Design Exhibition in at Dubai Design District November 12-15, 2019. Contact details Wolfgang Waltl; info@alshayaenterprises. com;

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Supplier FOCUS

Curiosity is the portable lamp by Artemide

Artemide About the brand Artemide, a historical leader in lighting, has always been a synonym for innovation and Made in Italy and its products are seen as contemporary design icons internationally. Founded in 1960 by Ernesto Gismondi, Artemide is based in Pregnana Milanese and operates through 24 subsidiaries. Its distribution network includes approximately 50 branded showrooms in the main cities around the world. Trends Artemide opens up important research issues connected with photonics and new technologies to outline a future vision, a new way to interpret and experience light. The company is moving towards the new frontiers of design where the core is no longer just the product as such but new intelligence

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of management: smart and digital management systems, Artemide App, Geo Li-Fi, Li-Fi, sensors, and IoT interaction. Latest Launches Artemide works with Italian and international architects to develop innovative products able to interpret several cultural perspectives. Latest products are developed with architects like BIG (Gople, Alphabet of Light, La Linea, Ripple), Elemental by Alejandro Aravena (“O”, Huara), Neri&Hu (NH, Yanzi), Atelier Oi (Vitruvio), Pallavi Dean (Interveawe), Gensler (Series Y), Fratelli Campana (Irupè), Neil Poulton (Calipso System) , Davide Oppizzi (Curiosity), and Carlotta de Bevilacqua (A.24, Turn Around, Vector). Contact details +971 4 425 0213; com; Dubai Design District Building 6 A307

Grok presents a series of luminaires that emphasise the connection between design and minimalism, as well as the relationship between materials and lighting

Supplier FOCUS

Designer Ichiro Iwasaki creates Tube for Vibia, an innovative system of hanging lamps

LEDS C4 About the brand LEDS C4 is a Spanish lighting solution provider, known for its wider range of architectural (indoor and outdoor), contemporary, decorative, and bespoke lighting solutions. The company has a strong presence glob wider cover over 140 countries. Trends The 2019 catalogues of LEDS C4/GROK Lighting offers a strong range of LED lighting both architectural and decorative. With fast moving technology LEDS C4 focuses on efficiency, performance, design, and simplified asthmatics. Technology is essential and the brand provides advanced ELD lighting solutions for indoor and outdoor applications. Latest launches VOILE is the new creation of GROK decorative brand, this line was created in collaboration with the creative French artist CĂŠline Wright. A unique artisan handmade sculpture made of Japanese Washi paper, Voiles Lighting redefines the aesthetics of contemporary style and retouches on it with elegance and beauty. With integrated high-end LED modules, this lighting fixture offers a modern solution for decorative lighting. On the one hand, its asymmetric shape provides a different vision depending on your position. On the other hand, the Japanese Washi paper gives the piece a lightness that allows constant movement. Together they create a poetic living piece that makes any space more Contact details +971 527 695 321;

Vibia aBOUT THE BRAND Vibia is based in Barcelona, a city that loves design and culture, past, and present. From there the brand has been able to channel the industrial and service abilities to construct a team of people that create extraordinary products and experiences like never before. Vibia has used local knowledge to build a global business. They are present in 80 countries and have a subsidiary in the US. The Vibia community is constantly growing. Today, over 100,000 professionals work on their lighting projects on Trends Design at Vibia is at the centre of what they do. The brand collaborates with designers to produce something spectacular and extraordinary. To be part of the creation of such narratives, Vibia uses materials, light sources, smart dimming control, and connectivity systems. Latest Launches Vibia participated in Euroluce 2019 and showcased 10 new collections from renowned international designers. Among them were Arik Levy, MartĂ­n AzĂşa, and Stefan Diez, with whom Vibia has collaborated in the past. The brand also introduced first-time collections from awardwinning designers Sebastian Herkner and Maarten De Ceulaer. Contact details +971552523000;;

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Wish list

New design directions!

Uplifting and inspring decor ideas to refresh your living space

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July 2019

Wish List

High on style!

Wall of fame

Full Moon bed by Bonaldo turns the sleeping area into an enchanting setting for resting comfortably Availability: Western Furniture, sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai

Anthology wallcovering 06 is inspired by industrial spaces, fabricated walls, trend for polished natural, and man-made surfaces Availability:

A different league A luxuriant tropical landscape is skillfully illustrated with inlaid brass profiles on the larch wood surface of this side table Availability:

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Wish list

Posh living The Ellipse bed with an oversized headboard upholstered in leather or Nabuck with handmade stitchings Availability:

World of design Take your interior game to another level with these 3D wooden world maps creayed with lasercut precision Availability:

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July 2019

Class apart An elegant brushed champagne coloured metal framework hosts the new three seat CLARK sofa by Tonino Lamborghini Casa; Availability:

Wish List Boho chic Bathroom that inspires and blends neutral style with personal touches Availability: Ideal Standard, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai

Understated elegance

Linea upholstered panel bed set that guarantees timeless design and comfort Availability: Interiors, across all the showrooms in the UAE

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The Month Ahead

Trade fair dates for your diary…

EVENT IN FOCUS Gdynia Design Days

July 6-14, 2019 Gdynia, Poland Gdynia Design Days is an annual festival, which highlights the latest trends and good practice in the world of design. It’s the leading Baltic region festival of inspiration and practical and valuable knowledge about design, featuring the latest trends and best practice – rich in curated exhibitions, lectures, workshops, talks and discussions, all aimed at professionals, entrepreneurs and design enthusiasts in search of new ways of working. Thus in July Gdynia becomes the best place for both business and creative industries to meet and discuss how best to evolve through better design.

Decor + Design Mel/19

July 18-21 2019 Melbourne, Australia Be inspired by Australia’s biggest showcase of the latest interior products & furnishings. The 2018 show attracted over 11,500 visitors from across Australia. The show gives interior designers, decorators, architects, furniture, and furnishing buying groups as well as retailers the opportunity to see and buy hundreds of NEW products, learn the latest industry trends and network with peers both at the trade fair and in a full program of concurrent functions. Visitors will see the latest trends and best products for decoration of flats and houses. The show is held annually and is accompanied by a series of seminars held by international experts.

INDEX Las Vegas Market

July 28-August 1, 2019 Las Vegas, Nevada USA Las Vegas Market is a world-class experience that’s simple, efficient, and exciting for exhibitors, designers and buyers. All in a cross-category shopping environment for gift, home décor and furniture, Las Vegas Market is located on a stateof-the-art campus. Visit Las Vegas and you'll experience quality accommodations and dining, as well as a strong focus on hospitality and amiability from our service team. By featuring a vast array of furniture, home décor, and gifts, Las Vegas Market offers great value for brands, retailers and interior designers.

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July 2019

September 17-19, 2019 Dubai, UAE The region’s largest interior design event, connecting 50,000+ architects, interior designers, retailers and procurement professionals with interior furniture and furnishings suppliers. This year’s theme explores how different environments are using asymmetry, typography, geometric shapes and 3D patterns to create unique and inspirational spaces. In 2019, INDEX will be part of Middle East Design and Hospitality Week (MEDHW), the biggest celebration of all things design and hospitality; you won’t want to miss it.

Pick of the month

Aston Martinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first kitchen spells luxury The first kitchen by Aston Martin is here. The first very elegant kitchen, which becomes part of a unique, rich and diversified context of total living, results from the fruitful and firm collaboration between the luxury brand Aston Martin and Formitalia, the producer of luxury furniture and accessories. The V888 kitchen, which is true to the styles which represent the tradition and the craftsmanship of the sporting cars Aston Martin, is fully handmade in Italy in an impeccably way and with refined materials. The kitchen island has a sizeable structure which is high performing and characterised by a top made of grey Pulpis marble with a moving countertop made of Canaletto walnut equipped with a remote-controlled electrical mechanism and with a safety stopping system. Kitchen is equipped with refined and ultra-modern solutions as well as with a wide range of electrical appliances from Gaggenau, which ensure efficiency and availability to live unique, and very high-level experiences daily. Availability:

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July 2019

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“Don’t be afraid to steer away from neutrals and be more creative by opting for something bolder and a bit more fun.”


Aleena Waqas

Profile for Design Middle East

Design Middle East July 2019  

Michael Khoury, Mirodec Gulf, graces the July cover, as he talks about his family-owned business and plans for the future. Plus, other excit...

Design Middle East July 2019  

Michael Khoury, Mirodec Gulf, graces the July cover, as he talks about his family-owned business and plans for the future. Plus, other excit...