Dubai Budding interior designers in the GCC now have a platform to showcase their talents with the launch of the annual Danube Student Interior Design Awards in Dubai yesterday. The competition offers more than Dh85,000 in prize money and winners will be announced at a gala dinner and the end of May, which coincides with World Interiors Day. Registration for the competition opened this week with March 20 as the deadline. Final entries are due on May 8. Applications are open to senior or graduate interior design students in the GCC region. The event is sponsored by building materials company Danube in partnership with the Association of Professional Interior Designers (APID). Speaking at a press conference, Danube chairman and founder Rizwan Sajan said more than 15 universities have shown interest in the competition. They include American University of Sharjah (AUS), American University of Dubai (AUD), Ajman Institute of Science and Technology, Al Ghurair University, Al Hosn University, Manipal University and University of Sharjah. \"The idea for an interiors award had been going through my mind for a very long time and we wanted to encourage young designers who are the future of the industry,\" Sajan said. \"People think that Danube is a construction company and yes we are but what people don\'t know is that we are also a big interior design company. We have everything you see in a room to do interior design from the chandeliers, carpets, tables, marble flooring...\" APID president Fareeda Abdullah Kamber Al Awadi said: \"It is the mission of APID and Danube to make this a premier event in its category in this region. For students preparing for a career in the world of interior design this is an invaluable opportunity to demonstrate the creativity and skills to the entire community and industry at large.\" She said the competition will also demonstrate the role and importance of interior designers in people\'s everyday lives, especially in the Middle East. AUS assistant professor Robert Reid, who specialises in interior design, said the format of the competition was the result of a collective brainstorming session with Danube and interior design faculty from various universities.