Design Middle East November 2019

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November 2019

2019 Middle East

ALL THE BIG MOMENTS FROM THE GLORIOUS NIGHT that celebrated the tops guns of design and architecture

P47- HIGHLIGHTS OF THE Construction Innovation & Design Forum


Contents Nov em ber 2019


2019 Middle East


16 IN THIS ISSUE‌ 18 Cover Story

The best and memorable moments from the Design Middle East Awards 2019






Event Review


Decor Review

Lambert Ma talks about his career progression and exciting projects

Sara Mwaniki on how technogy is changing the field of blinds

Round-up from Construction Innovation & Design Forum

The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel is the only place to head for wellness and well-being

52 November 2019


Contents Nov em ber 2019



56 REGULARS 5 Editor’s Note 10 Newsmakers 56 Show Report 58 Events 60 Pick of the Month


November 2019


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.

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



ime flies faster when you are enjoying every moment. Last month was super busy and yet one of the most exciting times for me. It was the second edition of Design Middle East Awards and oh my my, we partied and celebrated like no one else. The who's who of the design industry was present and indeed it was an evening to remember. Thank you all for making it a grand success. November is an amazing month for two reasons—the muchneeded change in the weather is here and Dubai Design Week. This year 21 Italian artisanal luxury brands will participate at the Downtown Design, can't wait to witness all this and more. November edition features the round-up of the Design Middle East Awards 2019. Check out the complete list of winners and glimpses from the starry night. Also, catch all the highlights from Construction Innovation & Design Forum with industry experts discussing relevant matters.

+966 50 328 9818

Editor Roma Arora

Roma Arora Happy Reading!


Art director Aaron Sutton

Marketing Executive Vince Celestial

This time, I am crushing over these lovely design pieces created by Atelier Swarovski Home, which will be showcased at the Downtown Design.

Photographer Farooq Salik

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Malaysia’s ‘The Rainforest Canopy’ Pavilion will use energy efficiency features including heli-fans to enhance airflow, self-shading, and green landscaping

Malaysia’s net-zero carbon pavilion kicks off groundbreaking ceremony Malaysia led by Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change (MESTECC) has kicked off construction of its “Rainforest Canopy” Pavilion during a groundbreaking ceremony today, to begin construction within the 4.38km2 World Expo site’s Sustainability District. Recently, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad revealed that construction of “Malaysia’s Net Zero Carbon Pavilion”, an initiative to offset the carbon from the Malaysia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, is an important and conscious step towards ensuring that building the structure will be sustainable in the long term. The offsetting actions will be done in Malaysia through tree planting initiatives which will also ensure that the nation will reforest more land areas, apart from the current programmes being conducted by

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various national agencies, including the ASEAN Framework for Climate Change agenda. Malaysia’s current forest cover is at 55.3 percent, or 18.3 million hectares of its total land area, exceeding Malaysia’s initial commitment to the Rio Earth Summit, which was 50%. The Rainforest Canopy Pavilion, detailing Malaysia’s theme “Energising Sustainability”, spans 1,234.05 square meters, comprising of four segments – Energising Today, Energising Tomorrow, Energising Harmony and Energising Business. While “Energising Today”, focusses on how agri-commodities have shaped the socio-economic development of the country; “Energising Tomorrow”, showcases Malaysia’s commitment to becoming a high-income nation while reducing carbon emissions. In addition, “Energising Harmony”, encapsulates how Malaysians of

diverse cultures, traditions and races are working together towards the nation’s progress; and “Energising Business”, portrays the role of the private sector, state-owned enterprises and government initiatives in promoting sustainable development across all industries. Designed by Hijjas Architects + Planners, a Kuala Lumpur-based and award-winning firm, ‘The Rainforest Canopy’ was inspired by Malaysia’s oldest rainforests which include its prehistoric rainforest Taman Negara, in Pahang. Estimated to be over 130 million years old, Taman Negara is Malaysia’s premier national park and one of the world’s oldest rainforests. Serina Hijjas is a Malaysian architect, principal and creative director of HIJJAS architects & Planners HIJJAS architects & Planners, widely known for buildings that are dynamic, innovative, bold

and sustainable concepts. All the buildings have references to context and culture with a strong contemporary response. Hijjas has explored sustainability in every project. In Malaysia, HIJJAS designs include many multinational and national projects such as the Shell Headquarters Building, Celcom Headquarters Building, Center of Excellence a waste training center, Herriot Watt University with a long span green roof, Sasana Kijang Center with faceting diamond facades to with awards in energy efficiency and green by design. Serina has won numerous architectural competitions exploring materiality and forms as an expression of to culture. A member in Malaysia Green Building Council & Green Building Index, Hijjas is active for pushing the envelope on green and part of the Greening Malaysia change.


Swiss Bureau delivers Hira Industries office in RAK Hira’s new office is a startling interpretation of their true nature perceived through an open space filled with creativity, innovation, and vision

For Swiss Bureau’s second project with Hira, the design firm wanted to create a sense of familiarity while adding distinct characteristics to define a more unique environment. The central concept of making the “invisible, visible” was to remain the same. With the client’s desire to influence a deeper emotional connection to the area, it was imperative to create space that offered a fresh, welcoming experience to its guests and ignite

a new sense of belonging for the staff. Ultimately, the enduring design is a play between rational and emotional elements inclusive of multi-functional environments and alternative workspaces to promote employee well-being. Challenged with an opportunity to restore the entire existing architecture, Swiss Bureau ensured to pave a strong structural foundation, meeting fundamental needs for a sustainable building.

The two-tier building consists of critical areas such as high exposed ceilings, two pantries, a break-out area, executive lounge, meeting rooms, storage rooms, restrooms, and a collection of private offices for each manager. Similar to Hira Walraven in Dubai, Hira Industries in RAK continued an Industrial loft aesthetic utilizing a muted colour palette. Hints of blue and orange characterised a contemporary space while

also tying in Hira’s primary colours. Natural raw materials are juxtaposed with refined glass and black powder-coated metal. Doubling up as a showroom, a multitude of space is available to showcase Hira products through custom-built displays and shelving. Hira products, such as their vibration pads, were creatively used around the area as cladding, presenting the unexpected versatility of their products.

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H2R Design gives playful touches to the Rove at the Park H2R Design provided the full interior design for the three-star Rove Hotel at Dubai Parks and Resorts including 579 rooms, public spaces, furniture, lighting, and accents. The brief was to create a space for thrill-seeking ‘rovers’ to enjoy while being in the heart of the action. H2R Design was inspired to create a physical representation of the brand tag ‘explore without borders’ with the free-flowing spaces and playful touches re-defining the Rove experience. With respect to its location, the design firm took particular themes from each of the three exciting theme parks and water park and merged them into an eclectic hotel stay experience taking into consideration the mindset of today’s travellers. Although there are many subtle nods to the adjacent theme parks, the design keeps an overall balance of sophistication and avoids being too thematic. However, the detailing and art direction exude the Rove personality: Artsy, cool, and fun, interlacing a world of wonder and thrills. “We designed this space with the contemporary generation of travellers in mind and developed ways to keep them connected and engaged. Our aim was to harmoniously bring together four contrasting elements including the bold amusement park themes, UAE’s culturally-inspired surroundings, the need

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Metal Tolix chairs used in all the other Rove properties have also been included, linking to the brand identity

for connectivity and the essentials of hotel stay tranquillity. We achieved that by creating a natural flow from room to room and throughout the public spaces of the property”, explained Husain Room, co-founder of H2R Design. The artwork selected throughout the hotel celebrates the brand ethos linking to the context of location, adding character and voice. In the lobby, guests are greeted with a “Marhaba” sign written in Arabic on the ceiling with lights, and local artist Tarsila Schubert was commissioned to create the lenticular wall artwork at the

entrance. The Rove pin drop is tilted, as though it is breaking off, to accentuate the playfulness of the context the hotel is in. Hand-tufted carpets installed at the reception area symbolise queues at carnival rides while other areas are defined with full immersion colour blocking such as the yellow game room and suitcase lockers. Hanging rattan lights highlight the higher tables and create zoning within the space. Communal tables have been equipped with internet connections to serve as working stations.


Ergo collection is recognised for its organic design inspired by the forms of nature and the use of renewable and recyclable materials

Natuzzi Italia wins the Red Dot Award The Ergo collection, designed by Ross Lovegrove for Natuzzi Italia, won the prestigious Red Dot Award 2019. The awards ceremony took place at the Singapore Red Dot Museum. In 2019, about 4,216 people ̶ design concept, research projects and prototypes from the companies, designers and research institutes of 48 countries took part in the competition. The international expert panel of the design selected about 265 design concepts among 34 items categories. Pasquale Junior Natuzzi, creative director and stylist of Natuzzi, said: “The Ergo collection is the synthesis of the past, the present and the future. It represents an intrepid and an unconventional behaviour without missing to spread the Made in Italy message in the world and remembering always its identity. The Red Dot Award is a great result towards the new Natuzzi design vision and the lead to lower environmental impact, both in terms of materials and energy consumption.” Ergo is the perfect synthesis of the brand’s evolutionary journey. The collection includes a bed, chaise-longue, chandelier, valet stand, chest of drawers, floor lamp, rug and mirror. The furniture boasts FSC-certified wood from sustainably managed forests adhering to strict environmental, social and economic standards. Its components interlock seamlessly so that each piece can be put together with no need for metal parts or screws. The water-based adhesives used are formaldehyde-free. All finishes are made with natural wax. The only metal used is the aluminium, an endlessly recyclable material. The textile fibres used for the upholstery are organic – linen, wool and cotton. The mattress is in 100% natural latex and the light bulbs used are low energy consumption LEDs.

Summertown Interiors releases new Sustainability Report 2018-19

Summertown Interiors has released its 2018-2019 Sustainability Report that demonstrates the tangible economic, social, and environmental benefits a sustainable workplace delivers. Summertown’s fourth Sustainability Report is prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the international standards organization that helps businesses and governments to understand and communicate their impact on climate change. The report highlights the impact of eight material issues Summertown believes matters most to its business and stakeholders, and supports the case for putting in place a sustainability agenda. The eight material issues are: economic performance; environmental impact; people; health, safety, and environment; responsible procurement; being part of the community; technology; transparency, and anticorruption. During the 2018-19 period, Summertown’s economic performance was positive with a 13% increase in annual turnover, which is 15% above its five-year average. In line with the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 of ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns, and supporting the ‘circular economy’ in the UAE, 49% of Summertown’s projects met externally accredited sustainability standards this year. As part of its commitment to reduce the company’s environmental impact, Summertown reviewed its long-term sustainability strategy in order to develop a series of goals to guide its approach towards 2030. The three new goals are: deliver 100% sustainable projects, improve workplace happiness and well-being, and achieve zero waste to landfill. Compared to last year Summertown reduced its own office energy intensity per employee by 13%, its office water consumption by 36% and the volume of its office waste being sent to landfill by 13%, while achieving a 35% decrease in total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions per person in the last five years. Marcos Bish, managing director of Summertown Interiors said: “At Summertown, our vision is to create new commercial interior spaces in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. We are proud of the progress we have made on our sustainability journey over the last 10 years and delighted to be able to demonstrate the tangible economic, social and environmental benefits a sustainable workplace delivers through our own experience. By creating more sustainable workplaces we, in turn, contribute to a bigger picture through global and regional sustainability ambitions, including the United Nation’s SDGs and the UAE Vision 2021, Energy Strategy 2050, Area 2071, Green Agenda 2030, and Happiness Charter.”

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A global vision Lambert Ma, director, LWK + PARTNERS, talks about his career, current projects, and challenges in the industry

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Tell us something about yourself? I was born in Hong Kong and studied in the US. I have been practising architecture in Hong Kong for over 24 years. I have been associated with LWK + PARTNERS (LWKP) for over 10 years now, specialising in large scale and mixed-use commercial projects.

Gallium Valley Science Park in Hangzhou, China, proposes a new office-park typology

What's your take on projects/ commissions taking place in the Middle East and other GCC countries? LWKP picked Dubai as our base in MENA precisely because of its strategic location as a gateway to the GCC countries. Dubai is a maturing market with intense competition, but we believe by having a presence here would expose us to a variety of interesting opportunities in the region. The Middle East has a robust demand in hospitality and retail/entertainment projects in which we feel we can make positive contributions adopting our expertise in China being an active participant and key contributor to its urbanisation and transformation of cities in the last 20 years.

What’s been your biggest career accomplishment that you’re most proud of? Being involved in and taking a lead role in high profile projects in major cities such as Shanghai and Chengdu that are transformative in its nature and power that reshape the urban dynamics and transform the lifestyle of the locals in a positive way. I feel privileged and empowering as an architect being able to participate as part of the LWKP team in this remarkable process of urban transformation.

Are there certain elements that are in high demand at the moment or things that you see falling out of style? We’ve been seeing a major paradigm shift in the last five years or so in China’s retail/commercial sector, which makes up a significant portion of my projects, where we find the once-dominant, established model of mega shopping malls are making way for more experience-driven retail facilities that speak more about individualities and story-driven. We are also seeing a gradual acceptance and interest towards open retail

streets that encourage a vibrant and diverse street life, which has a significant impact on the urban streetscape.

project for Swire in Shanghai, which is conceived to be the third iteration of their revered Taikoo Li development after Beijing and Chengdu.

How does technology help you deal with design challenges and meet sustainability goals?

Tell us about your recently won awards at Cityscapes’ Emerging Markets?

LWKP has been pushing VR technology in presentations and visualisations, which provide tremendous help in clients’ decision making. We are also a strong proponent in BIM project application, which optimises the way we design and manage projects and has been encouraging our clients to adopt.

• Winner, Retail Project Award (Built) – Landmark Riverside Phase II: Danzishi Old Street in Chongqing is an exciting mixture of old and new, western and eastern within a unique historical context offering a diverse retail and entertainment experience, which has been regarded as a benchmark for some of the newer retail developments in China. • Winner, Retail Project Award (Future) – Zhengding Li Mixed-use Development in Shijiazhuang is LWK + PARTNERS’ newest open street retail development which seeks to further explore and experiment with this specific typology through the refinement of circulation and logistical planning.

What are the biggest frustrations you have to deal with in this field? The indecisiveness of clients, which drags project progress, and in more extreme cases hurts creative momentum. This is sometimes contributed by an overly democratised company structure of the client by which too many stakeholders’ opinions are voiced without having a single authoritative lead to consolidate and decide. It is much easier to work with clients with a strong vision who knows what they want.

Are you currently working on any projects that you’re excited about? I am working on an incubator project for Tencent’s founder Pony Ma in Shenzhen, China. Also a retail

What does it mean to be a global practice? A truly global practice in my view is about being able to cross-pollinate expertise of different offices of diverse cultural and technical background in creating a synergy that can drive the practice forward as a conglomerate of specialised knowledge.

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A pergola by the poolside to provide a shady area to relax with family and friends

“Automation in blinds is an exciting trend.� Sara Mwaniki, group marketing manager at Royal Blinds, on market trends, technology, and recent experience at INDEX

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Tell us something about your company and its presence in the region?

Classic Roman shades are ideal window treatments for both function and style

Royal Blinds, a pioneering entity wholly owned by Al Jallaf family, was established in 1989 in Dubai to manufacture all designs of blinds, curtains, tensile (flexible) shade structures, motorised retractable roof shades, special roller structures, awnings, and canopies. With 28 years of local experience in the industry, we have grown to become one of the preferred suppliers to many of the region’s leading property development companies and contractors. Apart from our in-demand products, we also provide regular consultations to highprofile architecture and design firms. The company manages 124,800sqft production unit at the Dubai Al Quoz industrial area; a branch in Abu Dhabi; and dedicated business channels in the other Gulf States. Royal Blinds is always committed to delivering above the client’s expectation. Be it a largescale project or one-off bespoke item, we guarantee to deliver on time and at a competitive price.

resistant window shades and blinds, which, unaffected by humidity, can be used in areas prone to moisture and splashes.

Briefly describe your experience at INDEX this year? What were your latest launches?

Do your products have environmentally friendly qualities?

This year’s edition of INDEX allowed us to meet under one roof thousands of international suppliers from various product sectors; further, build our industry knowledge; and gain the latest insights into the construction industry. We also engaged with potential clients and suppliers. This year, we partnered with Multifilm, a German antiglare materials manufacturer, to guarantee our successful participation. During the event, we showcased some of our top-notch products, including our sophisticated and high-quality blinds.

What are the top trends in terms of blinds and technologies that you see coming through in the next year or so? The year 2019, is an exciting time in the industry. To stay ahead of the competition, many companies have begun innovating their products thanks to technology. Automation in blinds is an exciting trend, bringing user experience to the next level. Users can now adjust their blinds or even schedule their tilt positions just using their smartphones. Automated Venetian blinds, roman blinds, and roller shades are available in the market today. In terms of materials, velvet is now an in-demand fabric for blinds. They are not only cost-efficient but they are

Yes. Our products have been designed to provide superior comfort, while also promoting power efficiency of up to 30 per cent. Once in use, these products have been known to help reduce your heating and cooling bills. Most types of window treatments generally result in energy savings that depend on the type of attachment and how it is used, the season, and the climate. Roller blinds with varying light penetration and curtains with films, among others, contribute to efficient energy use. Sara Mwaniki

also available in various colours, textures, and sizes. Meantime, pastel and grey colour remains popular in interior decoration along with brown and gold.

What kind of materials do you work with especially in the Middle East with extreme heat and humidity? For this region, we use blackout, a foam-backed, opaque fabric, to effectively block much of the light. We offer roller blinds with blackout treatment for UV protection, in addition to solar film blinds, which provide anti-glare from workstations, and moisture

What is the current state of your business? The industry experts have shared that the market is currently ripe, especially across the hospitality, healthcare and education sector—which are rapidly growing thus facilities are mushrooming across the emirates. The former two, in particular, have delivered profitable projects for us especially in light of Expo 2020. The ripple effect of it is an influx of orders and completion dates set for the first and second quarter of next year. The government has also been very supportive in creating policies that have greatly aided the sector. All in all, business is looking upwards for our industry.

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2019 Cover Story

Middle East

Presented by

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

And the winner is...

It was one starry night and the showstoppers were the tops guns of design and architecture. Design Middle East Awards 2019 presented by du was about the celebration of the creative best and foremost from the region’s design industry. This year, we received 350 plus nominations and we couldn’t have asked for more. The awards honoured the best of designers, architects, projects, and design-oriented companies. The ceremony with various categories strived to recognise individual excellence, company strengths, and project success. The event was held at Sofitel The Palm, Dubai on October 23, 2019 Here’s the list of the winners and runner-ups from our first Design Middle East Awards 2019: Photography: Farooq Salik 18 |

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Cover Story

Other shortlisted nominations included Mustafa Khamash from Kart Group, Shaun Killa from Killa Design, Hamdi Mahmoud from Tangram Gulf, Carlo Colombo from A++, Jesper Godsk from LW Design Group, Joe Tabet from JT+Partners, and Boran Agoston from SIE Consultants.

Lifetime Achievement Award Brian Johnson The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Brian Johnson who is the principal and managing partner of Godwin Austen Johnson. With more than 40 years of regional experience to his name, Johnson’s influence on modern Middle Eastern architecture is undeniable. Commenting on the win, Brian Johnson, managing partner at Godwin Austen Johnson, said: “For the last 44 years, the UAE has provided me with a fantastic opportunity to practice in a profession that I love – it has truly been a land of opportunity for me and I am honoured to have been presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Design Middle East Awards 2019.”

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Cover Story

Architectural Firm of the Year SIE Consultants The winner of the Architectural Firm of the Year was SIE Consultants. This firm is the brainchild of Nabil Al Kindi, an Emirati architect educated in the USA with a degree in architecture. He set-up SIE Consultants in October 2014, with a development-focussed mindset to offer full-service design services that can produce highly successful and sustainable developments for the clients. On bagging one of the prestigious awards, Nima Alborz, executive director at SIE Consultants, commented: “It was a great surprise and we feel fantastic. We have done some great work over the past five years and it’s an honour to win this award.”

Runner-up: JT+Partners Other shortlisted nominations included Norr Group, RMJM, RSP, Tabanlioglu Architects, U+A, Aedas, and Studio Costa Architecture

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Runner-up: Swiss Bureau Interior Design Other shortlisted nominations included GEO_ ID, dwp, KCA International, LW Design Group, Godwin Austen Johnson, Korus Interiors, and VS Design Studio.

Interior Design Firm of the Year Bishop Design The prestigious Interior Design Firm of the Year went to none other than Bishop Design who has experienced monumental evolution in the past 12 months, with tremendous development within the hotel sector. Commenting on the win, Paul Bishop, owner and founder of Bishop Design, said: “Winning this award has only been made possible through our teams' relentless dedication to constantly perform ahead of the game. I am thankful beyond words to every single one of them for they are responsible for Bishop Design’s position as a true leading interior design firm. To collect the highly esteemed ‘Interior Design Firm of the Year’ award for none other than renowned magazine Design Middle East is an unsurpassable achievement, and we’d like to thank them for allowing us to be part of such an amazing event.”

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Cover Story

Fit-out Firm of the Year ALEC FITOUT ALEC FITOUT was announced as the winner of Fit-out Firm of the Year award. Some of their prestigious projects include Caesars Palace Bluewaters, Dubai, The Residences at Marina Gate I, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, DIFC Dubai, The Palace at One&Only Royal Mirage, and many more. Commenting on the win, Laurent Farge, general manager, ALEC FITOUT, said: “We are very honoured to receive the Fit-Out Firm of the Year trophy at the Design Middle East Awards 2019. To win in such strong competition feels absolutely amazing as it gives so much recognition for the team’s hard work. We are proud to win this award, as it will further strengthen our position in the market place as one of the leading interior fit-out firms in the region. ALEC FITOUT ensures to continue growing and delivering world-class and iconic projects in the coming years."

Runner-up: Havelock One Other shortlisted nominations included A&T Group Interiors, Design Infinity, Bond Interiors, Depa Interiors, Emkay, Summertown Interiors, GDM Interiors, and Innerspace.

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Other shortlisted nominations included Aura, Kare, and Chattels & More.

Décor Retailer of the Year 2XL Furniture & Home Décor The winner in this category was 2XL Furniture & Home Décor. The brand is a partnership between Royal Group and Mohammed Ahmed Saeed Al Qassimi and has currently 9 showrooms across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Ain, and Fujairah. On winning the award, Amit Yadav, marketing manager at 2XL Furniture & Home Décor, said: “I feel amazing. 2XL Furniture & Home Décor is a beautiful homegrown brand and I am glad that it has bagged such a prestigious award.”

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Boutique Firm of the Year Broadway Interiors Broadway Interiors were announced as the winner of the Boutique Firm of the Year. In 2019, Broadway Interiors delivered 28 design commissions including British Business Group Office, Asia Asia restaurant, Kiku, a Japanese restaurant, RTA Physiotherapy and Wellness Center, and more. Established in 1999, Broadway Interiors specialise in unique solutions across F&B/hospitality, office, government, leisure, and residential sectors. This year is the firm's 20th anniversary for the firm and they have volved from a contractor to an innovative design studio of 18 staff members. Commenting on the win, Chris Barnes, managing director at Broadway Interiors, said: “We are absolutely delighted on winning this award and would like to thank the entire team for putting up such a great show.�

Runner-up: Studio Em Other shortlisted nominations included Rabih Geha Architects, MMAC Design Associates, Brand Creative, Studio Bruno Guelaff, Tangrum Gulf, IRD, 4Space, Roar, and H2R Design.

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Cover Story

Specialised Manufacturer of the Year Mirodec The winner of Specialised Manufacturer of the Year award went to Mirodec. Established in 1982, as a family business, Mirodec specialises in the design and execution of custom-made decorative art glass and mirrors for high-end projects. Commenting on the win, Michael Khoury, general manager of Mirodec Gulf, said: “This feels spectacular, we were not expecting this. We completed the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi and that is what has put us on the map here. Thank you Design Middle East for organising this wonderful event, which brings together the region’s design industry leaders. To the designers who have specified our product, to the contractors who have trusted our expertise, to the end-users who have insisted on using our brand, and most importantly to every Mirodec team member who has worked long hours to make this a reality….thank you.”

Other shortlisted nominations included Preciosa and Style Library.

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Runner-up: Al Faya Lodge by desert INK Other shortlisted nominations included Dubai Hills Villa by Urban Landscape, Villa at District One by Fiona Environs, Al Wathba Desert & Spa by Vero Studio, and The Founder’s Memorial by Waho Landscape.

Landscape Project of the Year Infinity Box by Parsons The winner in this category is a very interesting project called Infinity Box by Parsons. Over a million visitors to the Yanbu Flower Festival in Saudi Arabia were surprised and delighted by an enigmatic box offering a view of a mysterious world of infinite possibilities. On winning the award, Don Sharp, director of landscape architecture, Parsons, said: “We are really very happy. The idea that such a small project could bag such a prestigious award is very heartwarming. Landscape is a very broad discipline, which includes art, science, architecture, and horticulture. Our Infinity Box project is accepted by a larger community, for that, I am very grateful.”

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Cover Story

Design Education Project of the Year Akoya Nursery by Studio Costa Architecture The winner in this category was Akoya Nursery by Studio Costa Architecture. The school is conceived as a suspended architecture, designed around a flexible playground. Children will play, learn and grow under the tree. This school is a perfect place for Integration and Knowledge. Commenting on the win, Angelo Costa, chairman, founder, and chief design officer at Studio Costa Architecture, said: “I feel great and would like to thank BNC and Design Middle East for such a big honour. I am so excited and I am going to show this to everybody.”

Other shortlisted nominations included The International School of Choueifat— Umm Al Quwain by ATI Consultants, Al Karamah School by HLM Architects, and Ora by Roar.

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Other shortlisted nomination included British Business Group, Dubai office by Broadway Interiors.

Sustainable Project of the Year Cundall Dubai office The winning entry is Cundall Dubai office. One of Dubai’s leading WELL-registered projects marks a symbol of commitment to sustainability, health and well-being in design. Commenting on the win, Lee French, operations director from Cundall, said: “We are over the moon, it’s a project designed by the staff and for the staff. We are reaping the benefits of sustainable elements in our office, this makes a huge difference to our well-being.”

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Retail Project of the Year Rose Poudre by H2R Design The winner of Retail Project of the Year was Rose Poudre by H2R Design. It’s is a refined salon concept for women and is situated in Galleria Mall, Abu Dhabi. With the original project evolving from a hairstyling bar into a full-service salon, the design was developed to redefine conventional female accents to feature industrial styles and robust materiality while maintaining a cosy ‘feel at home’ mood. Commenting on the win, Hasan and Husain Roomi, founders of H2R Design, said: “It’s an amazing surprise for us. Honestly, we were competing with some of the fantastic projects. We are extremely excited to receive this recognition.”

Runner-up: Mauzan by Brand Creative Other shortlisted nominations included Images D’Orient by Rabih Geha Architects, Rami Jabali Salon by Studio Bruno Guelaff, 1004 Gourmet by Studio Em, The Seven Gym by Edge Architects, Crank by Broadway Interiors, and Virgin Mega Store at Dubai Mall by Schwitzke and Partner.

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Runner-up: Norr office by Norr Group Other shortlisted nominations included EPA office by Maja Kozel, Cundall Dubai office by Say Studio, Ministry of Cabinet Affairs office by Kart Group, Evoteq by Roar, Revonic by Swiss Bureau Interior Design, Poperty Finder office by Swiss Bureau Interior Design, ESAG Design Hub by Schwitzke and Partner, DEWA auditorium by IRD, and Rakha Al Khaleej International HQ by Innerspace.

Commercial Project of the Year Dubai Health Authority by Design Infinity The winner of Commercial Project of the Year was Dubai Health Authority (DHA) project by Design Infinity. The DHA's mission is to transform Dubai into a leading healthcare destination by fostering innovative and integrated care models and by enhancing community engagement. Commenting on the win, Pratap Mendonca, managing partner at Design Infinity, said: “We’ve been waiting for this for a very long time, I am glad that Design Middle East honoured us with this prestigious award. I want to dedicate this award to 350 plus dedicated team members of Design Infinity.”

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Residential Project of the Year MAG 318 by MAG Development and Mimar Engineering Consultants The winning entry was MAG 318 by MAG Development and Mimar Engineering Consultants. It’s a premium residential tower located in Business Bay and adjacent to Downtown Dubai. Comprised of 439 twobedroom, one-bedroom, and studio apartments with views of Burj Khalifa. Commenting on the win, Mohammed Kamal al Shurafa, managing director at Mimar Engineering Consultants, said: “I am thrilled at this win. I was not expecting this, it’s a great surprise.”

Runner-up: Villa Lumiere by Studio Bruno

Other shortlisted nominations included Villa D by Roar, Aban House by USE Studio, Private beach House by Kart Group, Serena by Parsons, Private Villa, Rmirates Hill V by XBD Collective, The residences at Ceasars Palace Bluewaters by KCA international, Heart of the Pearl by Bishop Design, Private Residential Chalet at Faqra by FNA & Partners, Tal Al Riman Residence by Uraiqat Architects, and Belgravia II by Ellington Properties.

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Runner-up: Torno Subito by Bishop Design

Other shortlisted included ENA Restaurant LXA, Nar Social by Brand Creative, Bebemos by Broadway Interiors, White+The Bear by Sneha Divias, Marco’s New York Italian by Studio Em, Huqqa Dubai by GEO_ID, Falla by Bishop Design, Cassette by H2R Design, Gifto’s of London by VS Design Studio, Zhen Wei by KCA International, Hamilton’s Gastro Pub by KCA International, Bau by Rabioh Geha Architects, and Brew 92 by Liqui Group

Hospitality Project Design Award of the Year (Restaurants/bars/clubs) Lah Lah by LW Design Group The winner in this category was Lah Lah by LW Design Group. Located at Zabeel House, Lah Lah has an unmatched urban aesthetics, which makes it a perfect instagrammable space. Commenting on the win, Jacqueline Craft, interior designer at LW Design Group, said: “We had worked really hard on this project and I am glad that people are liking it, and it has turned out to be a great space. Thank you Design Middle East for this recognition.”

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Hospitality Project Design Award of the Year (Hotels) Al Seef Heritage Hotel by Godwin Austen Johnson Al Seef Heritage Hotel by Godwin Austen Johnson won the Hospitality Project Design Award of the Year (Hotels). The winning project embodies Dubai’s traditions embracing the past through experiences deeply rooted in Emirati culture and heritage. Commenting on the win, Jacinda Raniolo, lead creative designer at Godwin Austen Johnson, said: “The Design Middle East awards is a great opportunity for designers to come together to celebrate their hard work and showcase their projects and it is an event that we will not hesitate to be a part of again next year. We were absolutely delighted to be one of the selected winners on the night, taking home the trophy for the best Hospitality Project Design for Al Seef Heritage Hotel Dubai.”

Runner-up: Rove at the Park by H2R Design

Other shortlisted nominations included Al Manara Hotel by MMAC Design Associates, Zabeel House by LW Design Group, Hotel Indigo by Norr Group, W Dubai, The Palm by dwp, Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai by KCA International, and Bebek Hotel by GEO_ID.

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Other shortlisted nominations included Fashion avenue, at Dubai Mall by CD+M Lighting Design Group, Crystal Towers by ZKLD Studio, Atturaif Living museum by Boris Micka Associates, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort by Preciosa, Al Bait Sharjah by Godwin Austen Johnson, and Rakha Al Khaleej International HQ by Innerspace.

Lighting Project of the Year Canopy of Light at Mandarin Oriental Jumeria by Preciosa The Lighting Project of the Year went to very deserving Canopy of Light project at Mandarin Oriental Jumeria by Preciosa. The winning project features illuminated arboretum of 14 trees that mimic the local desert flora and creates a unique experience for guests. These grow into a sparkling canopy of branches filled with hundreds of hand-made crystal leaves that are further embellished with embedded tiny glass bubbles. Commenting on the win, Martin Fryzelka, managing director at Preciosa Gulf, said: “We are really excited on winning this award. We are glad that our work is being appreciated and recognised. The team has put in a lot of effort and special thanks to our creative directors for coming up with such amazing installations.�

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Healthcare Project of the Year The Specialized Rehabilitation Hospital by HLM Architects The winning entry is The Specialized Rehabilitation Hospital by HLM Architects located in Abu Dhabi, which is the first hospital of its kind in the UAE, fulfilling a need that allows the people of the UAE to obtain world-class specialist rehabilitative care at home, rather than travelling abroad to find the best care. Commenting on the win, Jeremy Pickard, director at HLM Architects, said: “I am really pleased to win this award. We have worked with some great clients on this project—Capital Health, Imkaan, and Waste Construction. Working with the clients to create a therapeutic healthcare environment for the first Specialized Rehabilitation Hospital in the UAE was an exciting project.”

Other shortlisted project included King’s College Hospital by Perkins+Will.

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Runner-up: SZ21 by SIE Consultants

Other shortlisted nominations included Al Faya Lodge by desert INK, Infinity Box by Parsons, Ora by Roar, and Arabian Radio Network by Innerspace.

Innovation in Design Award Samana Golf Avenue by Samana Developers The winner of Innovation in Design Award was won by Samana Golf Avenue by Samana Developers. This project features the beautiful landscaped leisure decks, swim-up refreshment centre, cascading water features, children pool, indoor, and outdoor gymnasium and a miniature golf course with delightful seating areas feels more like a five-star hotel rather than a residential building. Commenting on the win, Alan James, general manager at Samana Developers, said: “We are delighted and amazed. This is our third project and to win two awards in a short span of time is an amazing achievement for us.�

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Interior Fit-out Project of the Year Jumeirah Beach hotel by Bond Interiors The Interior Fit-Out Project of the Year was Jumeirah Beach hotel by Bond Interiors. This iconic project was launched in 1997, and it recently reopened its doors with a stunning new look based on a theme inspired by the sea. Commenting on the win, Saad Moaswes, managing director, Bond Interiors, said: “I am really excited to win this award. We have done a lot of hard work and have an amazing team to thank. It was a very challenging project in terms of quality and time and I am happy with the end result.�

Runner-up: DEWA Training Centre by Design Infinity Other shortlisted nominations included Central Park Duplex 4033 by Finasi, Tecom Group Management office by Emkay, Patel Villa by Finasi, and Private Penthouse at Achrafieh by FNA & Partners.

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Runner-up: Pallavi Dean, Roar

Other shortlisted nominations included Bruno Guelaff from Studio Bruno Guelaff, Delvene Lee from Norr Group, Paul Bishop from Bishop Design, Laila Al-Yousuf from Say Studio, Emma Stinson from Studio Em, Chris Barnes from Broadway Interiors, and Jacinda Raniolo from Godwin Austen Johnson.

Interior Designer of the Year Rabih Geha Rabih Geha from Rabih Geha Architects was announced as the winner of Interior Designer of the Year. Geha is a Lebanese/Croatian architect and founder of Beirut-based Practice Rabih Geha Architects. Commenting on the win, Rabih Geha, founder and creative director at Rabih Geha Architects, said: “It is fantastic to receive recognition from the industry. It is our first participation in the Design Middle East Awards and I feel honoured to have brought back home Interior Designer of the Year 2019 award.�

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Cover Story

Architect of the Year Ignacio Gomez Ignacio Gomez from Aedas won the coveted Architect of the Year title. He is currently leading a team for the design of the Dubai Metro Expo extension, Route 2020, two five star new hospitality project currently under construction in Dubai plus residential masterplan in Jebel Ali. Commenting on the win, Ignacio Gomez, design director -Middle East, Aedas, said: “I just want to thank Design Middle East for such a great event. It is truly a pleasure to receive this award.�

Runner-up: Nachiket Garge, Killa Design

Other shortlisted nominations included Bassel Omara from Dorsch Gruppe, Robert El Habre from Norr Group, Mohamed Ali from RMJM, Arash G Tehrani from Arash G Tehrani Design Studio, Abdelkader Saadi from JT+Partners, and Michael Magill from RSP.

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Runner-up: Drew Gilbert, Croquis Design Studio

Other shortlisted nominations included Mena Al Khateeb from Swiss Bureau Interior Design, Neda Salmanpour from Binchy and Binchy Architecture, Rosha Ehsan from Creneau International, Sara Alsharif from dwp, Abdallah Gad from Godwin Austen Johnson, Laura Dianu from Killa Design, Miroljub Anastasov from Aedas, and Nicola Fahy from Studio Em.

Young Talent of the Year Yahya Kaddoura Yahya Kaddoura, lead design architect at Atkins won the Young Talent of the Year Award. Kaddoura has delivered a wide scale of projects in the Middle East, from master planning, urban design to architecture with a wide range of functionality, hospitality, commercial, and residential, since 2013. Commenting on the win, Yahya Kaddoura, lead design architect at Atkins, said: “I feel amazing. I receive a great amount of support from the company and my team. It’s elevating and motivating and I am looking forward to many more such opportunities.”

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Presented by

Middle East

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Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

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Event review

Pr esen ted by

Engaging minds It’s very important to exchange your views and have a healthy discussion on things that matter the most. That’s what the Construction Innovation & Design Forum was all about. The event was held at Sofitel The Palm on October 23, 2019. Industry experts were invited to share their views on significant areas, which are shaping and influencing the construction and design industry like, technology used in fit-out sector, state of real estate and property investment in the region, the importance of a good design and if it could solve all the problems, and preparing for the digital future. Here’s the round-up of the event. P lati nu m Pa rtner

Gold Spon so r

S ilver S ponso r

Catego ry Ally

Transportation Ally

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Event review

Panel 1: What’s next in fit-out technology?

T Dimitri Papakonstantinou

he first panel discussion focussed on how human intelligence and modern technology are doing wonders in the field of fit-out. Be it the BIM, PIM Software, 3D visualisation apps or Point Clouds, technology is an essential part of any fit-out project. These technologies are a boon and help in simplifying the tasks. On the panel, we had Dimitri Papakonstantinou, managing director, Sunil P Stanly, principal architect at Innerspace Interior Design, and Michael Dudnyk, head of company and project consultant at Muse Interior Design. Papakonstantinou emphasised on how important it is to adopt and adapt the latest technology else we will be left behind. “The construction industry has been slow in the past to adopt changes in the way we operate. In recent years there has been a concerted interest from all sectors of the industry to implement new technologies, which will improve the way we work. Personally, I am looking forward to these exciting changes.” Dudnyk shared: “I see more common usage of

3D-printing, a bigger choice of materials for this technology. Companies will start using more robotics for dangerous works. Of course - wider usage of artificial intelligence. Finally, new technologies probably will close some professions but at the same time they will give us more safety, more time, and opportunities for creativity.” Stanly described technology as a means of employing intelligence to solve problems, which cannot be solved otherwise. “The use of technology in ‘fit-out’, which for simplicity we shall call interior design and build. Particularly, the design industry must empathise to human needs, which is inclusive of emotional needs, which are best done by human interaction and assistance. Any tools to improve human interaction shall be welcomed. But, and that’s a big fat but, the so-called digital technology is taking away the human touch and its nuances should be carefully evaluated before implementing. Now comes the build part of fit-out or design-build, where we must use laser measuring tools, photometry tools, and other manufacturing tools.”

Sunil P Stanly

Michael Dudnyk 48 |

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Event review

Panel 2: Embracing disruption and preparing for the digital future

Sherief Elabd


n the panel were Sherief Elabd, director of business development from Oracle, Mansour Faried, chief engineer and director of engineering department at CSCEC Middle East, and Alan Wragg, commercial manager from Intermass. Faried highlighted: “The digitalisation concept hits the construction projects over its various life cycle stages, starting from design stage, where digital transformation and advanced visualisation techniques are currently enabling stakeholders to confirm that what is being designed is meeting their expectations, as well as predict buildings performance post-completion, moving forward to construction stage, where digital technology can help massively to avoid clashes and accordingly abortive works, as well as enabling contractors to have tighter control over construction resources which in return pays off in terms of higher productivity and safer work environment, ending by operation stage, where the concept of smart building is dominating the future of construction industry, through various setup of data collection sensors and analysis schemes to enrich the end-users experiences.”

Elabd discussed how technology is driving rapid change across the project and asset lifecycle. He said: “Digital transformation is shaping the worksite of tomorrow as the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, drones, AI, modelling, autonomous vehicles—and whatever comes next—enable better and smarter ways of working, via the cloud. We are witnessing an increasing demand in GCC for exploring the worksite of tomorrow, today. Through our Oracle Construction and Engineering Innovation Lab, we provide a simulated worksite demonstrating the transformative power of above-mentioned and other developing technologies. The Innovation Lab helps organizations experiment, learn, and stay on the leading edge” Wragg commented: “Developers of new technologies need to take the inspiration and drill down into the construction process to develop sub-divisional benefits for new technologies, which are required to be integrated with existing industry technologies. The construction business is a very competitive environment, and competition can be extremely fierce, businesses need to get a competitive advantage and the technologies we use and deploy are critical to each business.”

Mansour Faried

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Event review

Panel 3: Can a good design solve all the problems?

T Alastair Mitchell

David Manfredi

Andrea Sensoli

Melani Sabhaney

Riccardo Robustini

Sanmita Patel

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his very exciting panel featured Alastair Mitchell, MEP director, Ithra Dubai, Andrea Sensoli , architect & founder AZS Architetti and SUPERFUTUREDESIGN*, Riccardo Robustini, founder and director of UNICA Architects, David Manfredi, vice president sector lead design and consultancy services from Parsons, Melani Sabhaney, partner and director design, at Interspace, and Sanmita Patel, architect & senior designer AAID. Robustini said: “Design is like a matrix, it’s everywhere, in any object we see, touch use and consume. This is exciting and in the same way magical and helps us to understand the importance and the power of good design. Creation was always an act of education. In the middle age churches were used as the book of the society and the importance of the medium (the church, let’s say the “shape”) was relevant as much as the content (the religious significance). Nowadays we underestimate the importance of good design, which has a direct impact on human education. In fact, what we see and use daily determine our level of creativity, happiness or frustration and we should all fight together for a better design. We should all stand together for a better world” Sensoli focussed on the importance of sustainability. He shared: “There is no good design without sustainability. Sustainability nowadays is a technical branch of design, with scores and procedures but in the basic principles of sustainability, we’re born even before architecture was recognised as a practice. Sustainability is the reason why they build in wood in northern Europe, in bricks in the Mediterranean region and mud and straw in the desert areas. Of course, a distinction is needed after the industrial revolution, as we have started organising in megacities, which makes sustainability a very complex matter that can be dealt with only through complex technologies, orientation, ventilation, relationship with the ground are no longer enough to solve a problem that is a global scale.” Patel believes that executing a good design is a complex and layered process, one that requires a collaborative interdisciplinary approach. She said: “When various design disciplines work together in translating the client’s requirements to a design that is inclusive in approach and adaptive to change, we get a step closer to shaping a better future. This is a challenging process and as agents of the change we need to account for sustainability in a holistic sense. It is about collectively informing the design process by making a conscious choice and taking effective decisions that have a positive impact on how designs are inhabited”.

Event review

Panel 4: A look into real estate and property investment in the UAE

Alan James


he last panel featured industry experts such as Alan James, general manager at Samana Developers, Joumana Hosri, CEO at Sacotel, and Swapnil Pillai, associate research, Middle East, Savills, who shared their opinions on the real estate dynamics in the UAE. Pillai discussed: “It’s important to consider the sustainable concepts around the construction and real estate sector while also looking at current real estate dynamics in the city. All these things need attention given to the current market sentiments on account of recent policy measures to make the city more attractive to investors while also regulating the upcoming supply. With a renewed focus on sustainability, the discussion surrounding sustainable practices for greenfield and brownfield real estate projects (as built environment constitutes roughly 40% of all carbon emissions globally) was quite pertinent.” James considers customers as a king and never

truer than in the current market. He said: “Customers are knowledgeable of market trends, pricing, sustainability and are more attuned to environmental issues and generally want a product that meets their various needs whether as an end-user or investor. Customers are looking to move to newer builds that have better facilities, have sustainable features that not only help the environment yet help reduce the operating costs of the building. Pricing and whether there will be a boom or slump in the market will be defined by location, quality some areas will see a further adjustment in pricing whilst others will maintain current yields. I don’t envisage any price increase in either the sales or rental sectors for a number of years yet a levelling out of pricing.” Hosri talked at length about the advantages of sustainability and how it is changing the industry for good. She commented: “Sustainability is a powerful marketing tool and a big incentive in the real estate market.”

Joumana Hosri

Swapnil Pillai November 2019

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Décor review

Waking up to wellness Taking wellness to a whole different level, The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel brings us closer to the most important slice of life


t’s the first holistic well-being resort in the Middle East and a must-visit place this season. What about a resort that offers you yoga lessons, wellness programmes, tailor-made retreats, health therapies and more? Sounds like a dream, but that’s what The

Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel is all about! Tucked away on the exclusive coastline of Palm Jumeirah’s East Crescent, the beachfront destination houses 255 picturesque rooms and suites, all designed with natural elements, earth tones and

a harmonising Feng Shui philosophy throughout the property. Design Middle East had a candid chat with Samir Arora, general manager at The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel, about this new concept in the region.

The stunning views of The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel

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Décor Review

One-of-its kind in the UAE—The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel. What's the philosophy behind this well-being inspired resort? As is characteristic of MGallery’s ‘Serenity’ properties within its portfolio of over 90 hotels, The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel allows guests to embark on a transformative journey. The first wellness concept of its kind in the region, the resort’s philosophy goes far beyond simply offering health and well-being therapies. It is about reimagining and defining personal rejuvenation, providing holistic, tailormade wellness retreats. At the heart of the resort is the Rayya Wellness Centre, inspired by a 360-degree holistic wellness concept, offering organic-based products and an uplifting relaxation and rejuvenation experience.

Classic king room with Palm view

Samir Arora, general manager

How do you define wellness and why guests need to realise its importance? I define wellness as a perfect balance of your body, mind, and soul. How do you achieve that? Indeed it is your lifestyle – your food, your physical activities, and spiritual exercises for your mind and soul, combined with work and life balance. UAE is leading the way with spa openings, but people are looking for more – a holistic and immersive outlook to complete wellness. It is important to find that balance in life, and very often we don’t know where to start, and that’s where our inhouse wellness expert can help our guests. Our doors are open to anyone interested in wellness – we are not focussing on one particular audience, but rather showcasing to all, that wellness is something you can be the master of within our property. We are here to help and advise to ensure each guest has the very best experience. Before the guest arrives, we send them a very detailed wellness questionnaire that allows us to select, adapt, and tailor the best possible retreat programme for them. It is an individual’s choice, which elements of the retreat they choose to do or not.

Highlight the key design elements of the property. The hotel guest will appreciate our resort not only due to its unique well-being offerings but also because of its interior design that was inspired by the ancient principles of Feng Shui. Entering the hotel lobby one instantly gets

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Décor review

this well-being effect that has been created by applying Feng Shui principles: bright natural light from glass windows, doors and ceiling, the central palm tree and wall art greenery, curvy shaped furniture pieces and carpets and the organically shaped reception desk emit a gentle and subtle feel-good vibe. The energy (Chi) moves gently through space, distributes vibrant, yet gentle energy to all the adjacent areas. Glass doors that lead to outdoor area allow for a spectacular view onto the beach and create the feel of transparency and clear orientation, an important factor in Feng Shui. While the entrance has an active and vibrant, bright energy of yang the hotel’s wellness centre has the perfect counterbalance of a yin space with dark hues, calmness and silence, ideally to relax. Located on the dedicated wellness floor, the soon-to-be-launched wellness rooms with a spacious alfresco terrace are designed to offer immersive wellness experiences and feature a collection of wellness-centred amenities.

Spa oxygen room at Rayya Wellness

Tell us more about the very popular Rayya Wellness. What activities and treatments are offered at the hotel for the wellness of the guests? The first wellness concept of its kind in the region, the Rayya Wellness philosophy goes far beyond simply offering health and \wellbeing therapies. It is about reimagining and defining personal rejuvenation, providing holistic, tailor-made experiences that amaze the senses, revitalise the body and elevate the spirit. Meaning “breeze” in Arabic, Rayya’s vision is built on the legacy of creating well-being solutions that transcend time. Six tailor-made retreats have been expertly designed to improve mind, body and spirit. Packages range from three to fourteen nights including programmes such as Renew—focussed on detox and cleansing; Revive—centred around emotional well-being; and Reshape - a dedicated fitness and nutrition package to attain a healthier, more complete lifestyle. Among other treatments, I would like to highlight special programmes for anti-ageing and weight loss. Other treatments include signature spa rituals such as 1001 Arabian Nights - including desert scrub, relaxing massage and

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Wet facilities at Rayya Wellness

DĂŠcor Review

The hotel lobby is beautiful and inviting

camel milk facial - through to rejuvenating cryotherapy, detoxifying facials and the traditional Hammam.

How hotels can benefit from the growing interest in wellness tourism? Wellness and well-being are no longer words only used by a particular niche of individuals, the market is certainly more informed, people are researching how to be a part of the growing trend and are no longer intimidated by it but want to embrace it. Wellness is increasingly integrated into our lifestyle, whether at home, work or travel and reflecting a wider value shift in society. Therefore, hotels should not take wellness as only one of the components, but treat it as a philosophy and integrate it to the entire guest journey in the hotel. And that’s what we do at The Retreat Palm Dubai.

As a general manager, how do you motivate your staff on all levels? There is no secret that hospitality is all about how genuine you are with people. My approach has been and will remain the same – I am very genuine and transparent with my team. I motivate and sincerely recognise earnest efforts and hard work; and at the same time, help improve on the gaps in their performances. We take a different approach and explore what will work to encourage them. But overall, it is all about genuine recognition. We always try to focus on the positive aspect. Kids club

What does the future hold for the Retreat The Palm MGallery by Sofitel? What are you most looking forward to in the rest of 2019 and 2020? Our main goal will remain to drive and maintain the holistic approach throughout every aspect of the hotel, ensuring that our engagement with our guests goes beyond their stay with us. Our prerogative is to help each guest achieve lasting wellness with experience and learnings that each individual can carry with him or her into their everyday life. We will stay true to what we set out to achieve, working with the best in class, achieving outstanding results, staying ahead of the trends and leading the market toward the global wellness movement.

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Show report

HostMilano 2019 ends with record-breaking 200,000 plus visitors Here’s the round-up of the 2019 edition of HostMilano


he 2019 edition of HostMilano was wrapped up with significantly growing numbers. The 41st edition of HostMilano, the leading global event in the hospitality industry, organised by Fiera Milano: in five days, over 200 thousand visitors (+8% compared to 2017), 40% of whom international from 171 countries, brought the entire fairgrounds to life. The event took place in Milan from October 18-22, 2019. As well as originating from European countries such as Spain, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, there were particularly large delegations from the USA, China, the Middle and Far East; there were also those who had travelled many thousands of kilometres to reach Milan, even from the Fiji Islands or Nicaragua. There were also some intensive business meetings with the hosted buyers, who came to Milan thanks also to the collaboration of ITA-ICE. “The extraordinary results of this edition of Host – comments the Managing Director and General Manager of Fiera Milano Spa, Fabrizio Curci – confirm how valid the strategy of Fiera Milano is, namely to focus on making its events international reference hubs”. Aside from the figures, HostMilano is confirmed as the exhibition that showcases worldwide previews of technological innovation and that anticipates out-of-home trends and consumer styles, thanks to the large number of novelties presented by Italian and international exhibitors and set in context, often design-based,

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which “illustrate” how the products accommodate the users’ desires. This year, for the design segment, an edition was dedicated to all things green which brings together sustainability in its various forms: from the mosthi-tech solutions to the most contemporary reinterpretations

offormats and layouts. Moreover, according to Assolombarda, the green economy has already generated about three million jobs and Italy is the European leader in the dematerialisation of the economy: every kilogram of resources consumed generates 4 Euros of GDP, compared to 2.4 Euros in Germany and

Show report

an EU average of 2.2 Euros. According to the HostMilano Observatory, markets also hint at green walls - not just ornamental plants, rather real vertical gardens of edible vegetables - along with a revival of potted plants combined to create mini-gardens. Sustainability also means managing spaces without waste. For example, with a layout made of recyclable wood furniture elements that can be easily disassembled and recomposed in a different combination for different uses, or be recycled at the end of their life with a lower consumption of resources. Space and resources are optimised by sharing large tables too, instead of separate tables, thus promoting conviviality and diversity, and creating an opportunity to meet diverse people we wouldn’t get to know otherwise. Because sustainability is also a state of mind. And, in line with the Scandinavian ‘hygge’ approach, based on the comfort of little things with a homey flavour, the boundaries between being at home or out of home are becoming increasingly blurred, along with those between different uses, such as between a bar and a shop or between a restaurant and a showroom. Examples include bookcases, which become the protagonists of the most diverse layouts, even hotel rooms. Of course, they aren’t shelves filled with decorative backs, but with real books, to be read, browsed and experienced. All in all, HostMilano created a super successful edition. A propensity to storytelling which is reflected in the dynamic following on social media: the Instagram accounts connected to the trade fair registered more than 650 contents (including posts and Instagram stories), exceeding 1.1 million single users. Host 2019 proved to be a unique opportunity also to share expertise and experience, thanks to a schedule of over 800 high-profile events dedicated to training and information on issues such as sustainability or technologies 4.0 including Artificial Intelligence or the Internet Of Things, in addition to exciting competitions, demonstrations and show-cooking with star chefs, experts and masters of various disciplines. The appointment with the next edition of HostMilano is at fieramilano from October 22-26, 2021.

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The Month Ahead

Trade fair dates for your diary…

EVENT IN FOCUS Salon Art + Design 2019

November 14-18, 2019 New York, USA The event returns for its eighth edition at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. Presenting the world’s best design – vintage, modern and contemporary – enhanced by blue-chip 20th century and contemporary art, Salon will feature 56 leading art and design galleries (from 14 different countries), spotlighting the trends of collectible design. Salon has differentiated itself from other fairs by including a highly curated mixture of historic and contemporary collectible design and fine art. Just as top interior designers create eclectic homes for discerning clients, Salon exhibitors are encouraged to create immersive environments mirroring the way we live today.

Dubai Design Week

November 11-16, 2019 Dubai, UAE Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. Dubai Design Week is the largest creative festival in the Middle East, reflecting Dubai’s position as the regional capital of design. The six-day program covers a range of design disciplines including architecture, product design, interiors, multimedia and graphic design, with the majority of events being free to attend and accessible for both industry and public.

Design Canberra Festival

November 4-24, 2019 Canberra, Australia Design is in Canberra’s DNA and the annual Design Canberra Festival is a celebration of all things design. The event will experiment with new ideas and expand the most successful programs into new directions in the 2019 festival. Over 150 events, exhibitions, talks, tours, activations, markets, collaborations, artist studios and open homes will once again transform the nation’s capital into a new platform for the best in design. The festival, now in its 6th year, is for all interests and ages and most events are free.

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Design Miami

December 2-8, 2019 Miami, USA Design Miami is the global forum for design. Each fair brings together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators, and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce. Occurring alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami, USA each December and Basel, Switzerland each June, Design Miami/ has become the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing, and creating collectible design. Design Miami is more than a marketplace for design, where the world’s top galleries gather to present museum-quality exhibitions of twentieth and 21st century furniture, lighting, and objets d’art.

The perfect ambience. Health and wellbeing, nature and sustainability form the basis of the keynote theme ATMYSPHERE at the world’s leading trade fair for floor coverings in 2020. Discover the latest product trends and interior design solutions. Be inspired. Make contacts among leading manufacturers from all over the world.

10 – 13 January 2020 Hannover ▪ Germany

s g talk n i r u t rs Fea ed tou d i u g ral and itectu h c r a on topics

The World of Flooring

Deutsch-Emiratische IHK · Tel. +9714 4470 580 ·

Pick of the month

Atelier Swarovski Home unveils its latest collection at Downtown Design Atelier Swarovski Home will unveil its latest collections, including works by Patricia Urquiola, Tomás Alonso, and Peter Pilotto, at Downtown Design Dubai (November 12 – 15, 2019). Tomas Alonso’s ‘Prism’ collection is a series of contemporary trays that demonstrate the designer’s signature color play, with jewel-toned eyecatching crystal prisms contrasting with white Italian Carrara marble bases. Patricia Urquiola’s ‘Brillo’ collection is a series of iridescent containers covered in shimmering bespoke opal crystals meticulously hand-applied at Swarovski’s headquarters in Austria. The containers invite interaction and can be molded into different forms and shapes. Also on show is celebrated fashion house Peter Pilotto’s ‘Arbol’ collection, a striking series of brass candle holders with structural forms and vibrant color combinations, handmade in Italy and illuminated by precision-cut Swarovski crystals. Availability:

60 |

November 2019

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MAKING AN ENTRANCE! Unique entrances for unique buildings Bauporte doors provide the entrances to some of the worlds most iconic buildings and now we have brought our experience and expertise to the Middle East. With the completion the prestigious entrances for the Dubai Real Estate Company, an upgrade for the entrances of the Opus by Zaha Hadid and the start of the exciting Action Impact auditorium works in Abu Dhabi, our customized doors solutions have found their way to some of the regions’ most iconic buildings. We have been designing and manufacturing customised door solutions for more than 100 years and our experience and passion for quality will ensure that you can create that exceptional entrance that your building deserves. Visit and get inspired!

Bauporte Gulf Building Materials Trading L.L.C. Rep. office: Level 41, Emirates Towers, Sheik Zayed Road, PO Box 31303, European Business Centre, Dubai Investment Park First, Office BC-38, 598-633, Dubai, UAE Tel: + 971 43132 793,

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