Inaugural Work Design Summit will take place at the DWTC, from 31st May – 2nd June 2021,

 in-person, allowing the commercial interiors industry to meet for the first time since 2019

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Workspace, the dedicated commercial interiors event taking place as part of INDEX, announces today the first edition of Work Design Summit. As most companies return to their office environments throughout 2021, the summit will feature three days of real-world case-studies and research-based insights and discussions from May 31 to June 2 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. 

The commercial design community is invited to enjoy five distinct sessions staged each day, featuring prominent designers, corporate end-users, real estate developers and analysts, FM experts, technologists and psychologists.

The past year has prompted a dramatic need to reconceive and redesign all aspects related to how modern workspaces look, feel and operate in order to enhance productivity and wellness in the transition to future hybrid working communities.  

Emirati Designer Laila Al-Yousuf, Design Director & Partner at SAY Studio will be one of the speakers at this launch event, sharing her knowledge and experience on what wellness design now means to clients, end users and designers, as well as why the office is here to stay but needs to be re-invented. Asked to share a preview into what will be discussing on stage, Laila Al-Yousuf comments “The pandemic has been the largest disruptor to the way we work and now is the time to adjust and adapt or get left behind. We are looking towards a future where the office is still carrying enormous value as a place that becomes a company’s base, where staff can connect and collaborate, and where a company’s culture is built. At the Work Design Summit, I will be focussing on the workplace of the future and how radically this concept has been changed by the past eighteen months.

Re-enforcing Laila’s statement with a great emphasis on the important role of the workplace, businesses are encouraged to enhance their offices considering the shift in employee expectations from pre-pandemic times. A recent survey conducted by Aetna International highlights this shift precisely, with more than 80% of participants agreeing that mental health is now more important to them than ever, reinforcing the need for companies to adapt to new standards and show flexibility to safeguard employee wellbeing. 72% of the survey participants expect businesses and employers to ensure work environments are adapted to the new reality to promote both mental health and productivity, which in turn would enable them to be more efficient and businesses profitable. 

The Work Design Summit, covering the most pertinent industry trends and themes, will have dedicated sessions on how office design affects behaviour, how facilities management is being used to promote employee wellbeing, and case studies on designing fluent, consistent bridges between office and remote working environments. 

Commenting on the launch of Work Design Summit, Katie McBride, Event Director, dmg events said: “Companies are now exploring new ways to improve the workplace for employee safety, wellness and productivity. The Work Design Summit has been launched to meet the demand for information on best practice on these areas. We look forward to providing businesses with insight into the best design practices and effective solutions that can be tangibly implemented to improve different workplaces.”

Workspace and INDEX are co-located with The Hotel Show and The Leisure Show as part of Middle East Design & Hospitality Week. Access to the show and to the Work Design Summit is by advance online pre-registration only, and with limited availability. Registration is free and also gives access to the other co-located events, as well as a broad variety of insights, experiences, installations, and product showcases.

List of confirmed speakers:

• Pallavi Dean, Founder & Creative Director, Roar

• Oliver Baxter, Insight Programme Manager, Herman Miller

• Yullianna Porter, Head of Workplace & Design, Project & Development Services, MENA, JLL

• Laila Al-Yousuf, Design Director & Partner, SAY Studio

• Tarek F. Ardakani, Director – Operations, Emkay Interiors

• Lorenzo Zoli, Managing Director, M+N Architecture

• Simone Micheli, Founder & Chief Architect, Simone Micheli Architectural Hero

• Ian McSweeney, Principal Architect, ATI Architects

• Kathryn Athreya, Managing Director, Roar

• Sunil Stanly, Co-Founder & Principal Architect, Inner Space Interior Design

• Dr. Salima Hamouche, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Management, Canadian University Dubai

• David John Carey, UAE Region Chair, IWFM

• Kern Parangan, Design Director, Spacewell Interiors

• Shikha Ajit, Architect, Inner Space Interior Design

• Altug Ajun, Executive Director, ATI Architects

• Dhiraj Lochani, Managing Director, DNL Design

• Dilara Ajun, Creative Director, ATI Architects

• Nour Toubia, Senior Interior Designer, Inner Space Interior Design

About Workspace at INDEX:

Workspace brings together a full range of office products while inspiring new-design thinking through dedicated workplace seminars and experiences connecting commercial interior designers, facilities managers, architects, end-users and retail buyers to furniture, furnishings, product manufacturers, technology, and wellness solutions specifically for the office and working environment.

About INDEX:

Celebrating its 30th edition, the INDEX international interior design exhibition is the Middle East & North Africa’s largest gathering for the interior’s community. This is the ultimate trade show for the industry, connecting architects, designers, buyers, developers and distributors with local and international furniture, lighting, décor and surface material brands, trend-setting start-ups and the biggest international names in the interior furnishings and fit-out scene for every type of project.

About dmg events:

dmg events is a leading organiser of face-to-face events and a publisher of trade magazines.

dmg events organises more than 80 events across 25 countries, attracting over 425,000 attendees and delegates every year. The company’s portfolio of products includes many industry-leading events in the energy, construction, hospitality & design, coatings and transportation sectors. For more information visit