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Wed 15 Oct 2008 06:38 PM

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Bright future

As we’re slowly heading towards winter in the Gulf, two things come to mind. One is that it’s now exceptionally pleasant to be walking around outside in the evenings, as restaurants and cafes start to fill their outdoor terraces.

As we’re slowly heading towards winter in the Gulf, two things come to mind. One is that it’s now exceptionally pleasant to be walking around outside in the evenings, as restaurants and cafes start to fill their outdoor terraces. The other is that it’s getting darker, earlier in the day.

The Gulf is very much a region that never sleeps, so it should come as no surprise that as the development boom continues and more people flock to the region in search of a lifestyle they can’t have anywhere else in the world, the industry that allows people to see and experience this lifestyle is in fine shape. Lighting designers have never more been in demand as developers and municipalities really start to understand the importance of not only having light, but of having good quality lighting.

“Lighting design was always brought in late [in the region], almost as an afterthought,” Jonathan Speirs, principal of lighting designers Speirs and Major Associates, laments in an interview in the November issue of Commercial Outdoor Design. He adds, however, that this is now changing. Currently working on the lighting masterplan for Aldar’s Al Raha beach project in Abu Dhabi, he says: “It’s the first project of this scale where a lighting designer has been brought in at the right time and it’s generating a lot of very interesting design thinking.”

When the lights around the world seem to be switching off both metaphorically and literally thanks to economic slowdown, isn’t it reassuring to see that the Gulf seems to be the one place that’s able to switch on more?

James Boley is the assistant editor of Commercial Outdoor Design.

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