Dubai, UAE: Italy returns to Downtown Design on November 08-12, 2021 with some of the country’s finest creations in furniture, dwelling space accessories, stylish acoustic panels, lightings, and many more. The pieces showcased by 32 Italian exhibitors are true representations of the Italian narrative as a purveyor of culture and design innovation.
Through the Italian Trade Agency, Italy’s participation at Downtown Design is held in cooperation with the Embassy of Italy in the UAE and the Consulate General in Dubai as well as Italian associations Confartigianato Imprese, the National Confederation of the Craft Sector and Small and Medium Enterprises (CNA), CONFAPI and the Italian Association of Cutlery, Flatware, Hollowware and Cookware Manufacturers (FIAC).
The strong confidence in Italian designed elements for both residential and non-residential use is vivid in the GCC, especially in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. While a general economic slowdown caused by the pandemic has affected the construction industry, Italian exports to the GCC has seen a favourable turn. Total exports to the Gulf have reached EUR415 million in 2020 and an uptick in 2021 with end-June results at EUR231 million, up by 31 per cent compared to the first half of 2020.
The GCC is a favourable market for Italian exports given its rapid population growth combined with high purchasing power, and a relatively undeveloped local furniture-manufacturing sector. Construction is also picking up again for both residential and non-residential use increasing the demand for imported furniture and other fixtures that are not locally met. While the GCC represents only 1.5 per cent of the world market, consumption has grown significantly in recent years, recording an average annual growth rate of 10 per cent.
His Excellency Nicola Lener, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, said: ““Italy has shown time and again how creative expression is an integral part of our lives. At Downtown Design, we are given another opportunity to show our love for all things creative. Our strength is in showing beauty even in the most ordinary thing and sharing it to the world. Specifically, in the Gulf region with great appreciation of beautiful things, we are pleased to share Italian design and craftsmanship during this five-day fair.
With an increasing demand from the construction industry, we are confident that more and more architects, interior designers and direct consumers will continue to prefer designed furniture, interior furnishings, accessories and lighting coming from Italy. Downtown Design allows us to show the power of design and creativity, highlight the Italian technologies developed for these sectors and promote our environmental sustainable and social responsible models of production. So, it also speaks to our EXPO 2020 theme, “Beauty Connects People.” And “Italian design connects people.”
Amedeo Scarpa, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, said: “Italy is a global force when it comes to artistic and functional design products notably furniture, lights, interior panels, ceramics, tiles, stoneware, flooring, to name a few. In 2020, we registered a turnover of EUR39 billion in the furniture market alone. Total furniture exports reached EUR15 billion or a 39 per cent share. Amongst the product categories that enjoyed the most growth in 2020 are bedrooms and beds (+27.4%), living area (+9.4%), sleeping systems (+9.2%), and upholstery (+3.2%).”
In the UAE, Italy is the 1st supplier for luxury furniture and 2nd biggest for general furniture. The first half of year has witnessed a 27% increase in Italian exports compared to the same period last year. Products related to interior design are expected to result to EUR 1.4 billion, followed with EUR162 million on home lighting, and Euro 85 million for outdoor furniture. Even the residential lighting sector in the UAE has shone brighter in the recent years, taking 53 per cent of the consumption share in the GCC.
Innovation Talk: “Beautiful but sustainable: the Italian way of design” on 11th November at 2pm
Italy continues its series of Innovation Talks at the Italy Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai with “Beautiful but sustainable: the Italian way of design” on Thursday 11th November at 2:00pm.
The panel discussion, aimed to focus on bilateral cooperation between Italy and the UAE, will feature highly-regarded speakers in the design field, including:
- Massimo Iosa Ghini, designer and architect: Sustainable but beautiful in designing
- Antonella Mansi, President Florence Center for Italian Fashion: Sustainable fashion and its commitment to a more environmentally responsible and sustainable approach
- Maria Porro, President “Salone del Mobile” Milano: Is it truly possible to rethink large events (i.e. Saloni Milano) with sustainability on the display and as their starting point? –
Over the last decade, Made in Italy also became synonymous with sustainable design. The Italian wood interior decoration industry is 1st in Europe in terms of circular economy: 93% of materials come from recycling; 26 kgs of CO2 emissions per .000 euro produced compared to 43 kgs of the 2nd best country in the same chart.
About Italian Trade Agency – ITA:
The Italian Trade Agency is the Government agency which promotes the globalization of Italian firms, under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ITA helps to develop, facilitate and promote Italian economic and trade relations with foreign countries, focusing on the needs of SMEs, their associations
and partnerships. ITA sustains Italian firms in their internationalization process, promoting the marketing of Italian goods and services as well as the image of “Made in Italy” products around the world, while facilitating outward Italian investments and encouraging FDI attraction into Italy. ITA provides information, support and consultancy services to Italian companies on foreign markets, in order to foster exports and economic cooperation in all sectors, with the objective of increasing the effectiveness of their presence on international markets. ITA works closely with the Italian Regions, the network of Italian Chambers of Commerce, business organizations and other public and private entities. ITA’s headquarters are based in Rome and it works through a large network of offices around
the world which are acknowledged as “Trade Promotion Offices” of the Embassies or Consulates of Italy. https://www.ice.it/en/markets/united-arab-emirates
Downtown Design 2021 exhibitors at the Italian Trade Agency pavilion:
- ADI Associazione per il Disegno Industriale
- ALTEK ITALIA DESIGN
- ANDREA BURANA
- ARCA HORN
- ARTE VENEZIANA
- CERAMICHE KEOPE
- CUF MILANO
- ETRURIA DESIGN
- FANTINI MOSAICI
- GSC LIGHTING
- LIU JO LIVING
- LOMBARDO ITALIAN VILLA DESIGN
- MARIANTONIA URRU
- MEZZALUNA RARO
- MODENESE INTERIORS
- MOOD06 ARREDO E ARTE
- OLYMPUS BRASS
- RANIERI PIETRA LAVICA
- ROU MATERIAAL
- Skin – A SARGOMMA SKIN DIVISION