The UAE’s interior and fit-out market is set to witness a steady growth in the coming years, driven by new and renovation projects across the residential sector and hospitality, experts said.
“There are multiple factors driving growth in the interiors and fit-out sector in the UAE,” said Amit Yadav, head of Marketing at 2XL Furniture & Home Décor. “New residential projects are most certainly one of the biggest reasons given the scale of construction in the country. This segment is going to gain further momentum, with many of the projects reaching completion in preparation for Dubai Expo 2020. Refurbishments also continue to be a key demand driver in the industry and is very significant in terms of soft furnishings.”
According to data by Ventures Onsite, the interior fit-out market in the UAE is one of the GCC’s fastest growing industries and is expected to be worth $973 million by 2022. Non-oil growth in the GCC is projected to rise from 3.3 per cent in 2019 to 3.5 per cent in 2020. Buoyant oil prices and a strong resurgence in the GCC’s economic growth prospects are expected to fuel renewed growth across the region’s construction industry. The GCC region’s construction sector is tipped to see a 12 per cent year-on-year rise in the value of new contractor project awards in 2019.
Furthermore, the GCC building construction projects expected to be completed across all sectors are forecast to be worth $74.97 billion in 2019. The overall GCC interior contracting and fit-out spend across all sectors is expected to be worth $9.4 billion in 2019.
Raneesh Mundon, project manager at ECC Renovations, said that the interior fit-out market for the residential sector in the UAE is steadily growing, and is expected to become the largest, surpassing the hotel and commercial sectors. “Our business model has evolved to cater to this booming segment that makes up for Dh1.2 billion of the total UAE interior fit-out market, which is expected to be worth Dh3.5 billion in 2022.”
Ammar Hayani, managing director of Porcelanosa Dubai, noted that the UAE, being a cosmopolitan country with residents from over 200 nationalities, boasts an interior design sector is deeply influenced by worldwide trends. “The UAE is an example of a modern pioneer country with emblematic projects being launched regularly with astonishing interior design requirements. As the population in the country is growing, more residential projects are being launched, which directly impacts the growth of the interiors and fit-out sector.”
Like Yadav, he identified a rapid growth in the renovations sector. “Whatever was trendy four to five years ago might not be in line with the current design tendencies. Moreover, the attractive prices in the real estate sector in the UAE today have encouraged many expatriates to buy property. Most of the freehold projects have been built by massive developers that go for a standard contemporary design approach. Many property owners are now renovating these properties to fit their personal tastes and adapt to the current fashion interior design styles. Furthermore, the UAE has many hotels to accommodate the increasing number of tourists. In the hospitality sector, renovation is required every 10-12 years, which leads to a growth of in the renovations sector.”
Experts have predicted that, in 2019, the hotels sector is likely to surpass the residential sector in interior design and fit-out spend. According to STR, the GCC is expecting an additional 58,000 keys to enter the market in 2019. With mega events such as Dubai Expo 2020 drawing near, developers and consultants are focusing on providing high-quality refurbishments to their existing hotels projects.
At 39 per cent, the UAE is spearheading the share of interiors and fit-out spend in the GCC region. State spending is expected to total $15.5 billion in 2019. Expenditure on the health, education, and housing sectors represent 33 per cent of the total 2019 budget. In terms of growth, according to Dubai Design and Fashion Council, projections for the UAE design market is expected to reach $36 billion by 2019.
When it comes to design trends, Hayani revealed that UAE nationals and residents are frequent travellers, who are exposed to international design trends. “Tendencies are moving rapidly and social media has led to a speedy propagation of the latest trends. In previous years, what was launched in Europe, took a couple of years to reflect in this region; however, when new trends are launched today, we get inquiries in a matter of weeks.”
Sharing his thoughts on furniture and room decor trends, Yadav said: “Furniture being a lifestyle segment is an emotional purchase for most people because it evokes a feeling of comfort, style, status, and togetherness. Quality, design, uniqueness all are important considerations when people buy furniture, and we are witnessing a growing trend towards people refreshing their homes faster than they used to – similar to the fashion industry. More and more people are getting design conscious and like their homes to be more engaging with seasonal upgrades. Also, similar to any other consumer segment, brand appeal is an important aspect of the whole process and this is why the number of return buyers are significantly high.”