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The demand for interior design services in the UAE is expected to surge with an anticipated $14.6 billion (NZD$20.23 billion) in interior design contracts and fitouts to be spent in 2010, according to

With international markets still struggling with the economic crisis, interiors manufacturers and suppliers are turning their attention to the region in a bid to gain a stake in upcoming multi-million-dollar regional contracts, the report said, quoting Lu Buchanan, vice president, Index 2010, the region’s premier design event.

The UAE is experiencing a wave of showroom openings in 2010 as major international brands move to the region to capitalise on the interiors market in the Middle East, he added.

“There has been a positive shift in the industry in 2010 that not only has the industry talking but has become evident everywhere you look,” Lu said.

“Major brands which have gained key contracts both via their presence at Index and through direct links have recently set up permanent showrooms in the UAE and the Gulf in a bid to win a slice of the GCC pie. In addition, existing showrooms are expanding, refurbishing or taking up more primary showroom frontage.”

Index, which is marking 20th anniversary as the leading design event in the region, is anticipating more than 1,000 exhibitors participating from over 50 countries, during its run from November 8 to 11 at Dubai World Trade Centre.

This year’s event will feature exhibitors from a wider range of countries including Russia, Japan, Sweden and Turkey, with Index including both higher end products and more international diversity than ever before, a statement said.

Interior design on average makes up between 15 to 20% of the total project value of contracts. With $186 billion of hotel projects under construction worldwide or planned to begin in the next two years, UAE projects equate to 41% of this figure.

The estimated value of interior design contracting projects from 2009 to 2010 in the GCC totaled $22 billion. The UAE is a key investment destination as it accounts for two-thirds of the total value of all projects.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other GCC countries also remain important growth areas because of the steady increase in development activities within these markets.

“Despite a market correction, there are still massive business opportunities for interiors companies in the Gulf region,” Lu was quoted saying.

“You only have to drive along the Sheikh Zayed Road to see the high number of new showrooms opening or about to open. These range from existing players who previously weren’t in such prominent positions – such as Roche Dubois in Dubai – to new brands to the market.”

“Also, you only have to visit any of the recently-opened UAE and Gulf malls to see an increasing number of international brands expanding into the Gulf market,” he noted.

“At a time when the Euro market is cautious in the interiors sector, the fact that so many companies are prepared to invest in this region and showcasing their products at Index is a sure sign that the market is definitely recovering,” Lu concluded. — Source: TradeArabia News Service


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