Arc Middle East Review

We don’t just write reviews to tell you how brilliant our events are. Instead, we try to convey something of the life of an event – what it was like to be there. Because it’s not just about the stats (even if there were a mightily impressive group of highly influential architects there with lots and lots of commercial projects on the table). It’s more about the things that can happen when you’re here: those conversations, often unexpected, where you start to feel those real connections and friendships happening. And, in a relationship business, that’s what it’s all about...

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Arc Middle East 2022 took place on December 10-13th, 2022 at the Grand Hyatt, Abu Dhabi. Flights booked, meetings chosen and, before you know it, you’re at the airport, luggage wheels squeaking as you head towards the person with the BOND Events sign and big smile. 3 whole days and nights ahead of you with the people behind the biggest and most interesting commercial projects in the Middle East. If you’ve got faith in your products and you enjoy meeting people, you’re all set for 3 of the most productive (and fun) few days of your career.

The People

To give this some context straight away, you need to see who was there. Here’s a tiny taster from the confirmed ‘buyer’ list:

  1. The Red Sea Development Company: Marc Cerone, Senior Interior Architecture Director
  2. Tabanlioglu: Dr. Mustafa Alper Alhan, Director / Principal
  3. RSP Architects: Ralf Steinhauser, Director
  4. Nikken Sekkei: Fadi Jabri, Principal
  5. HKS: Ala Hason, Vice President
  6. Gulf Consult: Arun Puri, Head of Arch.Tech. Svcs
  7. Grimshaw: Matthew Utley, Principal
  8. Saudconsult: Khaled Al-Doghry, Principal Architect
  9. ...


Get the full list


These are the Middle East’s true commercial project influencers – the people you want fighting your corner come specification time. And the only way that’s going to happen is if you’re on their mind when they sit down with their design team and talk about who they’d like to work with. Because getting specified is a process. It takes time. And it starts with a conversation. And when you get these commercial project leaders together, away from the office where everyone wants a piece of them, they can focus on those conversations a lot more, so your time here isn’t wasted - something which the attending suppliers clearly appreciated:

100% of Suppliers who responded rated the architects and designers they met as 5.0/5.0

100% of suppliers who responded rated their overall experience at Arc Middle East 2022 as a 5.0/5.0.

The Projects

Major commercial projects throughout the Middle East

Every single architect and designer you’ll meet at Arc Middle East must evidence a portfolio of live, confirmed commercial projects throughout the Middle East and have chief influence over the specification process. This all helps to create a truly exciting atmosphere and a unique event experience with the best long-term returns in the business. Here’s a small sample of the 100s of commercial projects that were on the table last year:

Project Name - Town, State, Country - Size (sq ft) - Completion - Project Type

8o8 Residence at Palm Jumeriah - Dubai, UAE - 55,000 - 2023 - Residential

Abdullah Al Mubarak Airbase - Kuwait City, Kuwait - 400,000 - Under Design - Civic

Al Shatii Tower - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - 600,000 - 2025 - Mixed Use

Children’s Hospital Project - Kuwait City, Kuwait - 600,000 - 2025 - Healthcare

Corniche Al-Khobar - Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia - 300,000 - 2022 - Planning

GTA Antigua Pier, Antigua and Barbuda - 25,000 - 2023 - Transportation

King's College Hospital - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - 40,000 - 2023 - Healthcare

Kuwait Cancer Centre - Al Sabha Hospital, Kuwait, Kuwait - 2023-24 - Healthcare

Mixed Use Development Project in Ghala Heights - Kuwait City, Kuwait - 118,000 - 2024 - Mixed Use

New Amiri Hospital and Genetic Research Center - Kuwait City, Kuwait - 300,000 - Master plan

Rayyan Plaza Hotel and Offices Complex (Twin Towers) - Doha, Qatar - 161,285 - 2023 - Commercial

Wynn Resorts and Casino - Ras Al-Khaimah, UAE - 464,751 - 2022 - Hospitality


Get the full project list.

The attending architects and the projects they represented may be impressive. But it's the quality of access that makes this so compelling:

The pre-event tour of the Louvre, Abu Dhabi gave attendees a chance to start making friends before the event even started, as our guide took them through the stunning architecture and displays of this meticulously curated art museum. The tour is the perfect ice-breaker, meaning those who took part benefited from a more intimate initial gathering where they could chat with some of the architects. It also meant some familiar faces were there to greet them at the Welcome Dinner that evening, where the networking continued into the night.

Next morning, the meetings room erupted with animated conversation as attending manufacturers finally got their chance to sit down 1-on-1 with the people they’ve been chasing for years. It’s exciting, heady stuff, particularly for first-timers but it didn’t take long for even the most wide-eyed and starstruck suppliers to settle in and find their rhythm. Because, behind the big names and grand job titles, the Middle East’s most influential and well-connected architects and designers are, in fact, extremely normal, friendly, helpful people and these 20-minute ‘get a feel for each other’ conversations are just the start of many that will be continued over a beer or two later on.


BOND has been one of the best kept secrets in Specification Sales for far too long! As a long time attendee and believer, it excites me to see the word really get out there and BOND claim it’s reign as the greatest ROI conference for Materials Manufacturers on the planet.

Eric Atkins, National Architectural Sales Leader, Guru Spec Architectural LLC

Quality time with the Middle East's busiest and best architects

The meetings are just one of the things that make Arc Middle East three of the most worthwhile days you can have as a commercial project professional in this dynamic region. At the end of a busy afternoon, the intensity of the meetings subsides, and there's a chance to freshen up and catch up with things back home, before regrouping for the second evening of ‘networking’, which really means kicking back after a full-on day, enjoying the hotel's hospitality and having a mingle to see what opens up. And things really do open up here, as someone always seems to know somebody who just happens to need the very thing that you’d be delighted to provide and serendipity lends a hand as business starts to find its own, natural way of happening.

It was one of the most perfectly organized forums... my best opportunity to get meetings with knowledgeable manufacturers.

Mai Abdel Hakam Khatib & Alami Design Manager

This was my first year. The meetings were excellent and made some great contacts for future projects. I also enjoyed the pre-event at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. This was an excellent bonus.

Edge Architects, Associate


By the morning of day 2, nerves have all but melted away as colleagues and friends new and old meet over breakfast, most feeling relieved that they took it pretty easy the night before... And the BOND team gently usher stragglers to the first seminar of the day, many welcoming the chance to sit back and listen to someone else talk as the coffee starts to kick in.


Then it’s back down to business with more 1-to-1 meetings and the vibe is palpably different from day one as the pressure of nailing the perfect sales pitch eases and conversation is more natural and a bit more playful and all the better for it. Because, it’s all too easy to try a bit too hard and, in fact, the hard work has already been done: the decision makers are here, the meetings are all set up so 100’s of conversations have been started and the rare abundance of time and opportunity to take those conversations to interesting places means that trickling sales pipelines are suddenly awash with hot new leads to follow up when you get home. And that's what comes of spending 3 days and nights of quality time at the very heart of the Middle East’s most active and helpful commercial project community.

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Arc Middle East 2024 is happening on February 9-12, 2024, UAE venue tbc. If you want to make the right connections and friendships among the Middle East’s true commercial project influencers, we suggest you give it a try.

Please drop Jenny a line and she’ll be in touch.