Archive for News
$ 51 billion is the forecasted value of GCC commercial building construction projects due for completion in 2013
Last year saw unprecedented growth across all sectors of the GCC contract fit-out and interiors market, with the region still bucking the global trends with regard to economic recovery and growth.
This continuing growth and prosperity clearly illustrates the importance of establishing strong business foundations across the region; and what better way to do that than by exhibiting at the region’s largest and longest established contract and commercial interiors fit-out and design show … the Office Exhibition!
2012 Index International Design Exhibition, Dubai World Trade Centre, 24-27 Sept 2012
20,023 visitors from 93 countries, 777 exhibitors, 21 International pavilions, 46 exhibiting countries
Full details at Index Dubai 2012 Post Show Report
Independent is the exclusive North American representative for the Office Exhibition 2013, the Commercial, Healthcare, Educational and Retail sectors within Index 2013, the Middle East Region’s first Interiors Super Show.
Combined, the 2013 show will occupy more than 45,000 sq.m at the Dubai World Trade Centre and attract over 25,000 visitors from across the interiors and fit-out communities.
Contact us for more information on how you can take advantage of the growth in the Middle East Region and its continuing substantial investment in infrastructure.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to book your space at the 2013 show
Index 2013 – Interiors Super Show, incorporating the Office Exhibition – Dubai May 20-23, 2013
The massive storm that started out as Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast and morphed into a huge and problematic system, killing at least 96 people in the United States. Power outages now stand at more than 3.6 million homes and businesses, down from a peak of 8.5 million. Here’s a snapshot of what is happening, state by state.
Gas shortages in the New York area sends motorists across state lines to Connecticut in search of fuel. Lines form at gas stations near Interstate 95. Memorial service planned Saturday for volunteer Easton firefighter Russell Neary, killed during the storm while clearing tree debris from a road. Deaths: 3. Power outages: 227,500, down from a peak of 625,000.
As Massachusetts returns to normal, it sends volunteers and National Guard members to help in storm-battered New York. Massachusetts’ federally-owned T.S. Kennedy heading to Elizabeth, N.J., on Sunday. The 540-foot ship will serve as a “hotel” for emergency workers, power crews and others helping the region get back on its feet. Deaths: None. Power outages: about 1,000, down from 400,000.
Officials estimate it will be the weekend before power is fully restored. Deaths: 1. Power outages: 1,300, down from 210,000.
Atlantic City’s 12 casinos, closed in advance of the storm, start reopening after Gov. Chris Christie gives them the OK. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood views the storm damage in Ocean County. Motorists face another day of long lines for gas. Unemployment benefits are made available to two more counties where residents lost jobs because of the storm. The state sets up a hotline to help pet owners find their pets. Deaths: 14. Power outages: 1.5 million, down from 2.7 million.
The cost of the storm could exceed $18 billion in New York alone. Gov. Andrew Cuomo tells utilities to step up power repair work or risk losing business in the state. Fuel shortages, and motorists fume in long lines at gas stations around New York City. All three of the city’s major airports were back open. Subway and commuter rail services were partly restored. The state created a $100 million fund to help people hit the hardest. Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended his decision to hold the New York City Marathon on Sunday as scheduled. Deaths: 48, including 41 in New York City. Power outages: More than 1.3 million, down from 2.2 million.
The Coast Guard orders a formal investigation into the sinking of the famous HMS Bounty off Cape Hatteras during the hurricane Monday. One crew member died and the captain was missing. Deaths: 2. Power outages: None, down from 126,000.
Between 250 and 300 polling places remained without power just days before Tuesday’s election. The Red Cross closed all but two of its emergency shelters in the state. Deaths: 14. Power outages: 307,000, down from 1.2 million.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee signs a request seeking a presidential disaster declaration in three of the state’s five counties. Organizers recruit volunteers to spend the day Saturday in Westerly’s beach community, where they will clear away debris and remove sand that inundated homes, shops and other businesses. Deaths: None. Power outages: 7,800, down from more than 122,000.
Amtrak service was disrupted Friday because of the storm. Vermont was sending utility crews, Red Cross and other volunteers to help storm victims in New York. Deaths: None. Power outages: mostly restored, down from more than 10,000.
Sources: Local and state authorities; AP reporting
Superstorm Sandy Freight and Shipping Update Nov 2
Offices within the affected region are generally open for business, but in many cases with restricted operations due to continuing power outages and problems with public transportation which is affecting the staff commute.
Data and Landline phone services are generally restored and operational, but cell services are still subject to interruption.
Airfreight operations JFK/EWR improve on a daily basis.
Port Status remains as per Nov 1st, ie New York and New Jersey remain closed, other East Coats Ports operational and accepting cargo. Shipping lines are generally skipping New York / New Jersey calls, and cargo being diverted to Norfolk or other ports. Maersk Line’s schedule as below is fairly typical :
The following vessels are being diverted due to the closure of the port of New York/New Jersey.
MECL Service – Maersk Carolina
Will reverse rotation to first call Charleston and Newark Last. The new schedule is Charleston(11/2) , Norfolk (11/4) and Newark (11/6)
MECL2 – Maersk Iowa
Will arrive in Philadelphia on 11/2, Savannah 11/4, Houston 11/8, Norfolk 11/12. All Newark cargo will be discharged in Philadelphia.
WESTMED – Holsatia
Will arrive in Norfolk today 11/1 and arrive in Savannah on 11/3. All Newark cargo will be discharged in Norfolk.
TP3 – Axel Maersk
Will arrive in Norfolk on 11/3, and Savannah 11/5. All Newark cargo will be discharged in Norfolk.
MEDGULF -Barcelona Express
Vessel omitted Charleston due to storm. Charleston cargo discharged in Port Everglades.
TA5 – APL Indonesia / MOL Destiny
Newark cargo discharged in Norfolk on 10/31.
We continue to monitor developments, and to update our clients on the progress of their specific movements.
Courtesy of Lloyd’s Loading List
As Lloyd’s Loading List.com went to press, freight transport continued to be disrupted in the wake of Superstorm Sandy with the Port of New York and New Jersey’s maritime facilities remaining closed until further notice.
The facilities were shut down at midnight on 28 October.
In an update issued on yesterday evening, the Port Authority underlines that its staff and engineers continue to carry out inspections at the site and assess damage. “We will resume operations at our facilities as early as possible but only when it is safe to do so.”
However, all other ports along the US and North-East and mid-Atlantic coast had re-opened by yesterday morning.
Commenting on the impact of Sandy on Maersk Line’s activities, a spokesman told Lloyd’s Loading List.com: “All our vessels and their crews are safe. Due to the rough weather, there have been some minor damages to vessels – navigational lights missing, lost SATC antenna etc. But no cargo has been lost overboard.”
He confirmed that all terminals and ports on the US East Coast – except the Port of New York and New Jersey – are open for business as usual.
“The port authorities and terminal management in the New York/New Jersey area are currently assessing the impact to the port/terminal. At this time, we do not know when we will gain access to the Port Elizabeth terminal in Newark to access possible damage to container units on the ground or when we can resume normal terminal operation,” he added.
The picture is more positive for air transport, with New York’s main airports, JFK and Newark, having re-opened on Wednesday morning. Although flight services have not been fully restored and vary from carrier to carrier.
British Airways said it was aiming to operate a near normal schedule to New York, while Air France said its flights to and from New York, Washington and Boston had resumed.
In its latest update, issued yesterday, FedEx said that the severe weather system that brought hazardous conditions across the US North-East is still leaving difficult conditions and continues to affect FedEx operations. “Unavoidable” service delays should be expected, due to local road conditions across around 15 states in the region, it added.
While the situation appears to be improving generally, a key issue remains of the power outages.
On Wednesday an estimated 6.2 million homes and businesses were without power because of the storm.
As is to be expected with a storm of this size and severity, Hurricane Sandy has caused significant disruption to shipping throughout the US, impacted by the effects of the storm on ports and airports in the major hubs of the US North East.
Air, Ocean, Road and Rail networks are all affected.
We continue to keep our clients updated on the status of their specific shipments, but general update as at 12:00 hrs CST Wed Oct 31 :
- Many offices and warehouses throughout the affected region (NY, NJ, PA, NC) are without power and either remain closed or are operating under limited functionality. In many cases, operations have been transferred to other US locations where that has been possible.
- Landlines are generally working through the region, but cell traffic can be unreliable. Data networks and website operations have been significantly disrupted in the case where ISP’s are based in the affected region.
- Major roads throughout the region are working normally, but many local restrictions on side roads.
- Rail networks (Freight and Passenger) throughout the US are affected due to damage and delay in the affected region.
- Major freight airports at JFK and EWR operational, but a significant delay to uplift of cargo is expected to remain an issue from all US airports as airline networks come back in to complete service.
- New York / New Jersey ports – closed until further notice (for statement from Port Authority see below). It is reported that there has been mimimal damage to dry containers which were in port during the storm, and that refrigerated containers continue to operate well under their own gensets.
- Norfolk, Charleston, Philadelphia, Baltimore ports – gates are open and terminals are operational, but operations are slow, and vessels remain out of rotation. Delays are expected to continue for at least a number of days.
We have not been advised of the diversion of any inbound vessels from their originally scheduled ports, but we expect routings to be adjusted by the shipping lines as they work to bring their networks in to alignment.
We will continue to keep our customers updated, and will post additional information as the situation changes, but please do not hesitate to contact us should we be able to assist with any more specific questions.
New York / New Jersey ports – all terminals are currently closed until further notice, with no date being advised for the commencement of operations.
Statement from New York Port Authority 10/31 :
Staff have been on-site today to assess the damage and current status is as follows:
No electrical power and no time frame for repair
Roads covered with debris and traffic signals out of service
Rail track has been compromised
Fence lines – widespread disrepair
Port Authority staff is working to clear roads and is communicating with the container terminal operators and major tenants to coordinate the clean up and reinstatement of service. Only select essential personnel are permitted on port at this time. All non-essential personnel will be denied access by PAPD at port entrances.
Port Authority will provide an update by close of business tomorrow (Thurs)
The Office Exhibition joins the INDEX International Design Exhibition in 2013
|INDEX International Design Exhibition and The Office Exhibition will come together in 2013 to create an ‘Interiors Super Show’ for the Middle East & North Africa’s Architect and Design community.
The decision to bring these two established brands together was taken after several months of extensive research into the changing landscape of the global interiors market, and to further support the continuing evolution of the INDEX International Design Exhibition; an event that is already widely recognised as the region’s largest and most established interiors exhibition.
As the total spend on interior design in the GCC is expected to top US$56 billion in 2012, more and more manufacturers and suppliers are expanding and diversifying their range of products and services to target the entire spectrum of interiors fit-out and refurbishment projects.
Equally, more and more Architect and Design companies are expanding their consultancy capabilities to cross the boundaries between commercial, residential, hospitality and retail design in order to chase lucrative fit-out projects across the region, which last year were valued at an astounding US$8.6 billion.
INDEX Event Director Frederique Maurell commented, “I am delighted that The Office Exhibition will become part of the INDEX International Design Exhibition next year. The Office Exhibition has already cemented its place within the Middle East commercial design industry, but the synergy with INDEX makes perfect strategic sense, and we look forward to driving the show forward. By adding new profiles, developing the show and attaching the show to a larger regional design show, The Office Exhibition can only benefit and grow organically to become the region’s premier commercial design event”.
Maintaining its own brand identity, The Office Exhibition will however become an integral part of INDEX, and will remain fully focused on showcasing the most innovative and creative working environments for offices, sports venues, and education and healthcare facilities, as well as a range of other commercial environments.
INDEX will continue to focus on supporting the region’s demand for the latest residential, hospitality and retail-related interior products and services across its existing 9 show sectors (Furnishings, Furniture, Couture, Kitchen & Bathroom, Lighting, Outdoor Living, Textiles, Inspire and Surfaces & Finishes); whilst InRetail will move over to The Office Exhibition.
With an eleven-year history and an attendance of more than 4,200 architects, interior designers, specifiers and procurement managers at the 2012 event, The Office Exhibition will create an additional 9,800sqm of space at INDEX 2013. With 54% of the INDEX International Design Exhibition’s 27,000 visitors being involved in commercial interiors projects, The Office Exhibition will see its visitor numbers increase dramatically next year.
The INDEX International Design Exhibition 2013, incorporating The Office Exhibition, will take place from 20th-23rd May 2013 at the Dubai World Trade Centre and will feature more than 1,300 exhibitors spread across 45,000sqm, representing top international brands from more than 50 countries.
Ever Dynamic, from Evergreen Line docks at the new Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi launched operations at a multi-billion dollar port facility on Saturday 1st September, seeking to diversify its oil-based economy with a project that could intensify competition for the region’s shipping traffic with neighbouring emirate Dubai.
Abu Dhabi Ports Co (ADPC) said Khalifa Port, built on a man-made island in the Taweelah area, and its adjacent Khalifa Industrial Zone would together be two-thirds the size of Singapore when fully built.
Khalifa Port’s container terminal currently has an annual capacity of 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). This can be raised to 5 million TEU according to demand over the next few years. Abu Dhabi has said its long-term goal is to increase it to 15 million by 2030, depending on demand.
The port can also handle 12 million tons of general cargo annually in the first phase, including 4 million tons from an Emirates Aluminium berth that opened in 2010.
Khalifa Port will gradually take over all container traffic from Abu Dhabi’s existing Mina Zayed port, which has reached its capacity of 1 million TEUs.
“Over four to six months we hope to complete the migration of all traffic that goes into Mina Zayed to the new port,” said Douglas. Mina Zayed will continue handling some commercial cargo and concentrate on developing a cruise liner business.
Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure, real estate and tourism to diversify its economy. In shipping, the obvious challenge to its growth comes from Dubai, whose much larger Jebel Ali port is only about 40km north along the coast.
Last December DP World , the world’s third-largest port operator and owner of Jebel Ali, said it would invest $850 million over three years to boost the port’s capacity by 4 million TEU to 19 million.
Both companies have dismissed suggestions that they could end up competing for market share. ADPC maintains that Khalifa is a destination port, unlike Jebel Ali which focuses on transhipments to other ports.
“We are still growing to the extent of 7 to 9 percent this year. Also, what we foresee in terms of productivity being expanded in basic industries like aluminium and others will bring more capacity on line, and that will drive our growth,” said Martijn Van De Linde, chief executive of Abu Dhabi Terminals.
Noting that the export-import ratio at Mina Zayed was about 80 to 20, he said Khalifa’s growth would be driven by exports.
“Industries based here are now starting to produce and export to China, Europe, Mediterranean and other regions. So our growth is being driven by exports and we have healthy imports as well.”
However, the unstable global economic climate could pose challenges for both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. DP World posted flat half-year profits on Wednesday and said uncertainty in the world economy was slowing growth of the industry.
Within the UAE, Dubai has taken the lead in areas including aviation, tourism and trade but Abu Dhabi is gaining momentum in those industries on the back of its oil-based wealth. Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, launched in 2003, is competing aggressively with well-established Emirates in aviation.
Organisers Report 24 % Increase in Visitor Numbers
The Office Exhibition 2012, the Middle East’s premier trade show in office fit-outs and commercial interior design concluded its 11th edition with a 24 per cent increase in the number of visitors from last year. The three-day show was held from 15 – 17 May, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Participants at The Office Exhibition 2012 were positive about the outlook for commercial fit-out projects in the Middle East, with many citing an increase in the number of business enquiries received and contracts secured during the event.
Stewart Brown, President at Independent Freight International, U.S.A said, “We are very pleased to host eight new companies from the Americas at The Office Exhibition this year. These companies exhibited for the first time in the Middle East and their feedback has been extremely positive. They were able to meet a very dedicated and focused audience from across the MENA region and build key relationships that we hope will help to generate a lot of business over the next few months.”
With more than $300 billion worth of major projects expected to be awarded across the Middle East in 2012, this year’s Office Exhibition was the busiest the show since 2007. For participating exhibitors the UAE remained a top target market, citing the forthcoming office supply as a key demand driver. According to a Jones Lang LaSalle approximately 75 million m² of office space in Dubai is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012, while in Abu Dhabi, an additional 1.2 million m² of office space is expected to come online in 2013.
Increased attendance at The Office Exhibition 2012 also reaffirmed the show’s regional and international appeal, attracting visitors from as far afield as USA, Canada, UK, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, Malaysia, and Ireland.
The exhibition floor proved a source of education, innovation and inspiration for the region’s architecture and design community. Recognising the importance of market intelligence for show visitors and participants, organisers of The Office Exhibition ran, for the first time, an extensive series of daily workshops and seminars. Topics ranged from ‘local perspectives in sustainable design’ to ‘how cultural diversities in the region are driving commercial interior design’.
Also returning to the show as knowledge partner for the second consecutive year was The International Interior Design Association (IIDA). In addition to chairing the invite-only Design Executive Roundtable event for local design professionals, IIDA presided over the show’s two design competitions.
Cheryl Durst, Executive Vice President and CEO, IIDA, commented: “Design in the workplace should essentially respond to the needs of the people within that space. We were truly impressed by the high level of precision, innovation and quality of the products on showcase at The Office Exhibition this year. They are fitting solutions to the requirements of modern workplaces and reflect a true understanding of the significance of design in commercial environments.”
Visitors to The Office Exhibition echoed Durst’s comments. Rebecca Davids, an Abu Dhabi based architect visited the show and said, “I have been attending The Office Exhibition for the last four years and am happy to see it improving every year. There was an excellent range of products on display, not only from the big global players but also from regional enterprises. The education seminars and workshops were a real value added offering of the show and helped me to gain important insights into current issues impacting office design in the Middle East.”