News Column

Interior design companies see big demand as new projects are launched

May 19, 2014

Sarah Algethami Staff Reporter

Dubai: International and regional interior design companies say demand for interiors and fit-outs have gone up over the last year with the announcement of a number of residential, hospitality and retail projects.

Construction projects that are expected to be completed by the end of this year in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are estimated to valued at $128.46 billion, up 92 per cent compared to 2013, according to management consultancy Ventures Middle East. The medical, residential and hospitality sectors are likely to account for more than half of the market, with shares of 24.43 per cent, 23.34 per cent and 22.64 per cent, respectively.

"The UAE market, and the Dubai market especially, is leading the way for the many different types of development. These new projects that are in different sectors will require fit-outs," said Faisal Al Raisi, chief operating officer of Abu Dhabi-based Galaxy Trading.

"The business is booming in the UAE and there's good demand. After the announcement of the World Expo 2020 [last November], everyone is more encouraged to come and develop," he added.

While demand for interior fit-outs is up across different sectors, the most growth is seen in the residential sector, Al Raisi indicated. He was speaking during the International Interior Design Exhibition (Index 2014), which opened on Monday and will run until Thursday at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

According to estimates by consultancy JLL, 39,000 homes are to be delivered in Dubai over the next two years, up 9 per cent over the existing total stock of 365,000 units.

The residential sector accounts for 90-95 per cent of Algedra Interior Design Consultancy's sales, said Nasser Al Shamali, the company's sales manager. It also offers interior design services for hotels.

The UAE's interior and fit-out market is expected to be valued at $2.73 billion this year, according to Ventures Middle East data. The country accounts for 35.5 per cent of the GCC's interior fit-out market. Estimated expenditure on interiors and fit-outs in the region stands at $9.57 billion, up 29.63 compared to 2013.

Al Raisi expects the company's sales this year to double from the "over Dh300 million" recorded last year. "We have at least 7-10 projects in the pipeline. We will supply the materials within this year," he added.

Demand for interior fit-outs has strengthened compared to 2009-2012, according to Olga Gubanova, managing director of Design Group International, which does interior and exterior work for private homes and hotels.

"People are more willing to buy houses than in previous years. There are more hotels being built in the UAE and some GCC countries," she said.

Egypt-based French Home Furniture, meanwhile, is participating at Index 2014 to look for distributors.

"Dubai is a big market. You have here multinational companies from Europe and Asia," said Mohammad Al Eraky, the company's export manager.

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Source: Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)

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