Index registers 10pc rise in visitors so far

DUBAI - The 13th Middle East International Furniture and Interior Design Exhibition (Index) 2003 has registered nearly a 10 per cent rise in the number visitors in the first two days of the show, said Bernard Walsh, Managing Director, dmg World Media Dubai Ltd.

By Clarence Michael

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Published: Sat 11 Oct 2003, 12:27 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 9:33 PM

In an interview to Khaleej Times Walsh said: "The show is yet to see more busy sessions and we hope the positive trend to continue for the rest of the show. The problem is that for the next year the show can't be any bigger as every available space at the DIEC/DICC has been used this year."

The show this year expanded to cover an extra 5,500 square metres, which is in addition to all the eight halls of the Dubai International Exhibition Centre, Al Multaqua Ballroom and one purpose-built pavilion. Besides this, the show also occupies the auditorium and the gallery level at the new Dubai International Convention Centre.

Walsh said: "Already the major international groups have indicated that they all want come back next year. Index next year will be bigger definitely but differently. And we are happy to point out, as others in the industry have already pointed this out to us, that this is a world-class event. It is already very clear that the leading world manufacturers would like to come to the Middle East and especially Dubai, looking at the development activity here."

Walsh said: "Whenever possible we could bunch companies making the same product in one area like the three focused areas we have this year. But this is not always possible when there are 26 national pavilions and they all want the companies to be in one place. But, this new trend to have focused areas like the Textile@Index, Arabshop@Index and the FurnitureProduction@Index has been successful. And we plan to develop these specialised areas of the show in future."

He said: "There are local manufacturers participating in the show here and this has not only helped them regionally but some of these companies are also participating in the international trade shows overseas. This reflects the increasing strength of the local companies and we would like to contribute especially to the manufacturing sector."

Walsh said: "Demand for furniture, fabrics, flooring, lighting and for accessories items will see a big surge following the new construction activities across Dubai and the UAE besides regionally. There are over 160 new four-star and five star projects coming up apart from The Palm and the Dubai Marina. While the number of new households is set to increase manifold, the other factor that will give a thrust to the industry is the number of new homes to be purchased by expatriates."

He said: "Expatriates who are moving into their new homes will spend more than they have so far on rented homes. This is definitely going to boost the demand for furniture and accessories."

He said: "And the size of the Index show is only a manifestation of the growth of the construction and real estate sectors," and added: " Trade shows are good parameters for economic growth. There is a big waitlist for most of the major trade shows and this also reiterates the potential this market enjoys."

Walsh said: "dmg World Media already organises Index Dubai, The Big 5, The Office Exhibition and the Hotel Show and we would to like to develop the existing shows. We are also planning to generate more exhibitions either by launching or by buying." He added: "While some of our small shows are only spin-offs of the big ones, this reflects the well-developed market here and that is a healthy sign for growth."

Walsh said that more special events are being planned following the success of the Textiles@Index. Plans are ahead to invite more textile companies to take part in a show that could be developed in the future, he added.

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