Design degree for Abu Dhabi

Design graduates are needed to meet increasing demands.

NEWS, Design

ALHOSN University in Abu Dhabi has announced the accreditation of its first interior design degree programme. The Bachelor of Interior Design comes alongside the creation of civil engineering and architectural engineering degrees within the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Speaking about the degrees, Dr. Hamdi Sheibani acting provost and dean of faculty of engineering and applied sciences at ALHOSN University said there was a need in the Emirati capital for the educational programmes. "Abu Dhabi is passing through major developments in areas of real estate and property development. The trend now is to increase the construction rate in order to accommodate the increasing demand on residential and commercial needs. Therefore the demand for interior designers and architects will definitely increase."

The launch of the degree course is welcome news for local design firms for whom recruitment is a pressing issue. Mark Young, managing director of Design Young commented: "Any new design course in the UAE is a welcome addition to the industry, as long as it's aimed at the commercial interior design market, and not biased towards residential design."

The three-year interior design programme will be open to anyone having the suitable university entry qualifications and will take up to 20 students a year. Many UAE nationals are expected to enroll.

Young added: "It's also good to see that the course is aimed towards budding Emirati designers, although at present most interior design courses are attended by women. Maybe it is not regarded as being a macho profession by the young Emirati population."

Subjects covered will include: construction, history, lighting, professional practice, interior design studios, colour and materials and computer modules. The university is currently looking at ways of working in conjunction with local companies for work experience placements. "We are working very hard to sign cooperation agreements with different organisations. Several agreements were signed and are under execution in the field of Business Administration and Education. Soon we will have something similar for our engineering students," added Sheibani.

It is hoped that the course might help increase the reputation of interior design within the region, but Young added: "Unfortunately there's still a long way to go in the UAE for the majority of people to appreciate interior design as a profession rather than a vocation." The courses will commence in September 2007 and the university is accepting admission applications until the end of August.

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