What Luxury Design in 2018 Looks Like at Index Dubai

INDEX Dubai was held March 26-29, 2018, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.  Architects, interior designers, product designers, suppliers, and manufacturers, both new and established, were in attendance at this much anticipated event. The theme for the 2018 show was “Design for Expression”.  Thousands of brands were present to showcase creative and also inspiring new designs.  INDEX Dubai has seven market leading sectors for the exhibit:  Galleria (Premium), Office, Surfaces, Homeware, Lighting, Furniture, and Textiles. Let’s take a look at the highlights and what luxury design will look like in 2018, according to INDEX.

High End Efficiency and Sustainability


Index DUBAI 2018
Image via INDEX Exhibition


The winner of the best residential design project, The 118, illustrates how luxury builders do not have to sacrifice energy efficiency or sustainable materials to create a high end residence. Located in downtown Dubai, The 188 is home to an exclusive collection of full floor residences.  The apartment building has 46 stories and is also an exploration of the prospect of lateral living.  The project is by Signature Estate Developers, and the interiors co-created with design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates. The luxury residences reflect the comforts of a mansion in a cosmopolitan setting. In response to the unique needs of living in the Middle East, the designers focused on energy efficiency as a means to reduce consumption in this fast growing region.  As an example, toilets with low flushing systems and Fit Faucets with low flow limitation help minimize water consumption. All of this without sacrificing style.

Diversity in Design


INDEX Dubai 2018
Image via INDEX Exhibition


Much like fusion dining experiences, design has become increasingly diverse and less rigid.  Interior designers have fused design elements from various cultures to create their own unique style.  The winner Design Firm of the Year at 2018 INDEX is Bishop Designs by Paul Bishop.


Building a strong foundation through diverse, edgy and fresh interiors for Client’s including Wafi Hospitality, Fauchon Paris, Caramel Group and Bateel, with continued working relationships after 14 years, Bishop Design soon became the F&B go-to specialists for Clients across the globe looking to develop their brands in varying sectors.


The ability to adapt to client’s requirements while maintaining their own unique design style is what has allowed them to create bold, expressive, crossover designs.

Design That Tells a Story


INDEX Dubai 2018
Image via INDEX Exhibition


Clients are not looking for cookie cutter or all white, neutral interiors.  They want a unique custom design that tells their story.  Smart Dubai Office  is an exceptional example of a commercial design project that tells a story throughout the entire space.


The concept story, draws inspiration from the shifting sands to create organic forms, while emphasising movement and fluidity through the office space. The desert oasis, aka the coffee bar is purposely placed on the side where the sun rises. The main meeting spaces along the ‘meandering creek’ to promote traditional concept and the coming together of people and ideas. The colour palette is neutral with pops of “Smart Dubai” blue, the use of natural materials and colours is strong and accompanies by pockets of live and artificial landscaping. The plants were specifically chosen for their added value to the environment, for example the “spathiphyllum lilies” act as a natural air purifier.


Flexible Spaces


INDEX Dubai 2018
Image via INDEX Exhibtion


Luxury clients, from commercial developers to real estate, seek flexible spaces.  From a casual dining area that flows into a bar area or a workspace that can be used as a meeting room and a private conference area, design requires flexibility.  VX Studio was awarded for their ability to refurbish a space.  They were able to create a high end office environment with flexible spaces by combining a contemporary design with natural materials and tones.  Skylights and also atriums let natural light in to create “homey” spaces. These also adjust to fit large groups working together or smaller teams working independently.

If you missed the event this spring, you can plan on attending the fall event.  The next INDEX Dubai dates this year are September 16-18. INDEX’s next event will be themed ‘In the Business of Design’. So, be sure to mark your calendars!

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What Luxury Design in 2018 Looks Like at Index Dubai