What: SAGE SA from Switzerland is a software publisher that develops a leading financial software called Prospero.

Where: The office is located on the 25th floor of the Business Central Towers in Dubai Internet City. “We wanted to be in the IT hub of the Middle East, so it had to be Dubai Internet City,'' says Tarek Hamdan, chief marketing officer of SAGE.

When: The design was conceived in August 2008. After the design was approved, two months were spent on fit-outs and another two months on approvals. SAGE finally moved into its new office at the end of last February.

Who: The office was designed by Dubai-based interior design firm 3 square.

How: “The main design constraints were space restrictions. To combat this, judicious use of space was made with concealed storage which was achieved through design paneling with push-back shutters to cabinets. The high gloss lacquer paneling was used to ensure a futuristic look for the office,'' says Tarek. Glass and reflective finishes have been used in abundance making the space seem bigger and ensuring the office appears well-lit and professional.

“The office can be described as 60% relaxed, 10% fun, 10% fast paced and 20% corporate. The culture here is very friendly but hard working and we tried to reflect this in the design,'' Tarek explains.

How many: There are four people regularly based in the office.

What else: Athough the office was relatively small, SAGE wanted to make it appear spacious. To achieve this, the designers took advantage of the high ceilings and arranged the furniture in a way that minimised clutter. “The furniture was suggested by the design firm as they wanted sturdy, big pieces,'' says Tarek.

“Blue and grey are the company's colours so they were used extensively. A shade of green was added for a more relaxing effect,'' he explains. White was used for tables in contrast to the surrounding blue.

The large windows also add to the refreshing atmosphere. “The bright light that comes through the office windows never fails to refresh us and gear us up for work,'' says Tarek.

“The staff loves the informal yet corporate atmosphere and the relaxing yet refreshing ambiance of the office. The lights and wall textures make the office seem very spacious.'' Pascal Bertholet, chief finance and HR officer.