I was just thinking about countries in the middle east and whether or not those expanding cities like Dubai would be in need of designers. So if anyone here works in an Arab country I would like an insight of the design realm there.
Because I’m wondering if design is just limited to just certain countries.
We made a 2012 initiative to expand into the Middle East (we have someone on the ground in the UAE, so it became feasible to try) but so far it appears the lavish wealth in that region has prompted sourcing-from-elsewhere-no-matter-the-cost instead of manufacturing-as-an-asset, so the demand for consumer product oriented design is very low. We’re still pushing! Architects and interior designers, on the other hand, are in high demand.
It is truly the playground for the very, very, very wealthy - what with all the yachting, golfing and Gucci shopping they don’t have much time to ‘make stuff’.
In Exhibition Design I have seen some very nice work coming out of this region, specifically for exhibitions in Dubai. Of course, I assume their creativity is less constrained by certain capabilities (cheaper labor for one) and regulations (and fees) as found in the US or Europe. I did however have an opportunity to create a design or Nakheel a few years back, didn’t win the business, but they were very open to creative license it seemed.
I’ve known some graphic designers from Saudi and an exhibition designer who was flown down to Bahrain for projects. It probably didn’t hurt that the interior designer was not only a solid designer, but also a very good looking former female model