Wood & Panel

American hardwoods widely celebrated at the Dubai Design Week

 Tuesday, November 10, 2015


American hardwoods were widely celebrated at the inaugural ‘Dubai Design Week’, which took place from October 26 – 31, 2015. A series of installations and product displays across Dubai have highlighted the growing demand and widespread acceptance of American hardwood species by the design community in the UAE at the annual citywide event, which aims to place Dubai on the map as the emerging design capital of the world. The event represented a key milestone in the Emirate’s journey towards achieving global recognition as a leading design hub, given that the UAE is the largest design market in the MENA region with a 27 percent share and USD 27.6 billion in revenues in 2014.

Leading the way was ‘Win, Victory, & Love’, a collaborative installation between respected Emirati designer Khalid Shafar and the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry. The installation, which was located at the entrance of Downtown Design, paid tribute to 45 brave UAE soldiers who gave their lives in Yemen earlier this year. Using two important American hardwood species – American cherry and soft maple – Shafar aimed to pay homage to the fallen Emirati soldiers who devoted their lives to the UAE and also contribute to the documentation of their sacrifice, a process that is already in place by the UAE Government.

Also on display at DRAK was Khalid Shafar’s ‘Mr. & Mrs. Fanteer’, a humorous pair of side drawers in soft maple that reference the flamingo.

According to Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Africa, Middle East, South Asia and Oceania: “AHEC runs one of the most widely recognized wood promotion campaigns in the world and it makes perfect sense for us to be collaborating with Dubai Design Week and initiatives such as Downtown Design and Design Ras Al Khor. Today, great strides are being made in wood technology, but it is the creativity and inspiration of the design community that will ensure wood realizes its full potential. Overall, the Dubai Design Week provided us with a unique and exciting opportunity to see some of the very best creative talent and served as a platform to celebrate design and champion all the good work that is being done using American hardwoods.”

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