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US hardwoods to take centrestage at Dubai expo.

Byline: Dubai

Sustainable American hardwoods are set to take centre stage at the upcoming 'ifi09 Dubai', the 24th General Assembly of the International Federation of Interior Designers & Architects and the World Interior Design Congress 2009.

The event, being held under the patronage of Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE prime minister and vice president and Dubai ruler, is slated to run from November 6 to 11 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Dubai.

The expo will tackle various issues such as social responsibility and sustainability, while providing opportunities for networking and exchange of knowledge in a global context.

In addition, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry, has announced its participation as a gold sponsor at the event.

Amidst intensifying calls for sustainable materials, recent statistics have revealed that the net volume of hardwood growing stock in the US has increased from 184 million cubic feet in 1953 to just below 400 billion cubic feet in 2007.

In the Mena region, where sustainability is rapidly becoming an important issue, especially in the construction and furniture industries, American hardwood exports are expected to remain stable, after reaching $55.5 million in 2008.

With a range of species, colours, grains and textures, American hardwoods have become the preferred choice of the international design community for high-end interior projects such as public buildings, hotels and corporate offices, as well as in private homes.

In line with aims to educate construction professionals about the design possibilities for American hardwoods, AHEC will be participating at the 'ifi09 Dubai' exhibition, where it will also highlight the sustainable credentials of these products.

"As the world faces up to environmental change, American hardwoods offer architects and designers a sustainable alternative," said Roderick Wiles, AHEC Consultant.

"Our participation in 'ifi09 Dubai' is in line with out commitment towards building the market for American hardwoods in the region by highlighting not only their beautiful qualities, but their contribution to a more sustainable environment," Wiles remarked.

"By growing more hardwood each year than the volume harvested, the US hardwood industry can commit to substantial increases in exports, which will ensure reliable and long-term supplies to high potential markets such as the Mena region," he added.

AHEC will also be sponsoring two well known speakers for the event - Patrick Fong, a Hong Kong-based interior architect, and Luke Hughes, a London based furniture designer.

A renowned designer with over 35 years of experience, Fong has completed high profile projects including the Pacific Place, Times Square, Hang Seng Bank Headquarters Building, China World Trade Center in Beijing, Penang Holiday Inn and the Labour Bureau in Ohio, US.

Hughes has designed and made furniture for major public buildings, with his most important projects being the UK Supreme Court, the UK Houses of Parliament, more than 50 Oxford and Cambridge Colleges, 25 major public libraries, five royal palaces and over 1,000 boardrooms for major multi-national businesses.- TradeArabia News Service

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Publication:TradeArabia (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Sep 15, 2009
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