Interior design market growing

Dubai: The UAE hospitality interior design market, led by companies that provide furnishing for hotels, is on an upswing, boosted by tourism and the return of projects on hold in Dubai, according to Leila Abdul Rahim, director of hospitality interior design firm HBA/ Hirsch Bedner Associates in the Middle East.

“There’s been a positive movement [since] last year, with the announcement of new major developments that triggered developers to put held projects back on track. For that reason, we’re moving quicker,” Leila said.

A number of hotels are expected to open in Dubai this year, including the Waldorf Astoria (which had its soft opening in December 24), Pullman Hotel in Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Sofitel Dubai Downtown, among others.

According to a report by Jones Lang La Salle, Dubai currently has around 59, 380 rooms, with 9,800 rooms expected to enter the market between 2013 and 2015.

In terms of growth, the UAE is ahead of regional markets, partly due to “Expo 2020 being announced, [which] put emphasis on work here in the UAE,” Leila said.

Hotel management companies in the country have expressed their interest in opening hotels in Dubai World Central (DWC), the area that will have the infrastructure for Expo 2020. The global exhibition is expected to attract 25 million visitors, according to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

This year, HBA Dubai expects to see projects for four-and-five star hotels, villas, palaces, as well as conversion of spaces to hotels, according to Leila.

“HBA Dubai has increased its revenue in the last two years by 50 per cent accounting for almost 10 per cent of total HBA global revenue, which translates to $10 million,” the company said in a statement.

HBA’s upcoming projects in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region include the Grand Hyatt Makkah, the Corinthia Hotel Benghazi in Libya, the Saraya Aqaba Resort in Jordan, and the Harbor Point Development in Lagos, Nigeria.

Source: Sarah Algethami, Staff Reporter,

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