AEC Online
Printable version Bookmark this page Notify a colleague or friend about this page Bookmark and Share

The rapid renewal of stone and covering projects in the region: interior trends shape the market

  Other News
  Subscribe to newsletter  
11 May 2016

Dominated by the spending power of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the MENA region’s vibrant interior design sector is expected to be worth $8.2bn in 2016 according to figures in the Dubai Design Outlook 2015 report.

It is a market seeing a resurgence in the use of marble, a rise in the number of refurbishment projects and strong demand for innovative floor and covering products, according to designers based in the UAE.

As a core consumer of stone and covering products, the size and strength of the regional interior design market will continue to shape stone and coverings trends for interior projects in 2016.

The rapid renewal of stone and covering projects in the region: interior trends shape the market

“There has been a great increase in the use of marble in a contemporary way,” said Nigel Eckersall, Design Manager, Omniyat. “Over the last couple of years marble has been used to create a luxurious contemporary feel. Everybody is striving for a cleaner look.’’

“It’s also quite rare nowadays to see more than two marbles being combined on a floor, but there tend to be a lot of geometric patterns using the same marble, so designs play more with the veining and cut of the stone.’’

“There are plenty of designs coming up around the region that are playing with shades and patterns, all with the same colour stone and that’s what is making them so special.”

Eckersall says that this kind of detailed work with stone and inlaid patterns is one of the advantages of working in the Middle East, compared to markets such as Europe and North America, where the cost of such detailed finishing would be prohibitive. Refurbishments are playing an increasing role in design portfolios too, which Eckersall believes demonstrates the increasing maturity of the market in the UAE.

“Refurbishment projects are becoming more predominant. It becomes a more mature market when people realise properties can have a little bit of a reincarnation and that’s what we’re seeing.”

There is also a continued push from clients who want to see something unique or special in their projects, in part driven by current market conditions as Vincenzo Porciello, International Stone Consultant explained.

“During the boom there was a real drive to get whatever was available, but now we’re seeing that there’s a drive to get something unique; people want something that is different. But also sustainability comes into it, in terms of what we choose for floors.”

Porciello, who is a panelist at this year’s Designers’ Forum, is seeing what he called ‘incredibly innovative’ covering products coming to the market to meet this demand as people are moving away from conventional options. But, he says, they still want the performance, warrantees and longevity they would get from more traditional covering offerings.

“The big expectation now is that as designers we have to do something different and that’s a positive thing,” he said. “With any project you don’t expect everything to be unique or bespoke, but you do pick a few key items. I think that’s a great way of keeping a job efficient and in budget, but still getting a “wow factor” into a project.”

Both Nigel Eckersall and Vincenzo Porciello will be panelists at The Designers’ Forum, which is sponsored by Kansai Paint, during the Middle East Covering and Middle East Stone Shows, which run from 23 to 26 May.

This event is partnered and sponsored by the following:

Supporting partners: BCFA, Quebec Wood Export Bureau, ProBrixia
Supporting partners: BCFA, Quebec Wood Export Bureau, ProBrixia
Platinum sponsor: Al Jazeera Paints, the Designers’
Forum Sponsor: Kansai Paint
CPD Workshop Sponsor: Wetar
Featured Pavilions: India Chamber of Commerce and Indian Carpet Export Promotion Council
Official Airline Partner: Emirates
Official Travel & Hospitality Partner: Confex

ME Stone is a member of AEO and UFI and dmg events.

Skyscraper Banners