The UAE is expected to be the biggest spender in the GCC on home interiors and fit-outs, with an estimated $1.5 billion (Dh5.5 billion) budget in 2013 as the country’s residential market continues to grow.
Residential units worth approximately $13.9 billion are expected to be completed in the UAE this year, with interior contracting and fit-outs amounting to 11 per cent (or $1.5 billion) of the total project costs, according to a study by Ventures Middle East, released ahead of the International Design Exhibition (Index) and Office Exhibition that opens on Monday.
The UAE is also estimated to be the largest spender in the GCC on retail interior contracting and fit-outs this year with $266 million. Several retail outlets are slated for opening this year such as the Yas Mall in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the report said.
“The market had a difficult couple of years. But there’s no question now as we look around us of the growing activity in the UAE and GCC, whether hotels or residential complexes or office lots. There’s growth and the exhibition reflects that. More companies are taking this market seriously,” Bernard Welsh, founder of Index and senior business advisor at the organisers, dmg events, said in an interview.
In the GCC, spending on interiors is expected to increase 28 per cent to $9.2 billion in 2013 from $7.2 billion last year, the study showed.
KSA surpasses UAE
Saudi Arabia overtook the UAE in demand for interiors and fit-outs in the last quarter of 2012 and now has a 38 per cent share of the market compared to the UAE’s 36 per cent.
The 23rd edition of Index will feature 850 exhibitors from 45 countries while the Office Exhibition that showcases designs for the commercial sector will have 120 exhibitors from 20 countries, Welsh said.
About 75 per cent of the participating exhibitors are international and 25 per cent are UAE-based companies, he said.
The exhibition had “small growth” since last year because the previous show was held in September and was moved forward to May this year based on exhibitors’ request, he said. “Some companies could not come twice in six years, but still the show got a large number of exhibitors.”
In the GCC, hotel interiors and fit-outs spending will be worth $1.62 billion in 2013, up from $1.33 billion in 2012.
“There is a huge plan to promote tourism in Dubai with the vision of 20 million visitors by 2020. So, Dubai will need a huge number of new hotels. All of this will need good use of suppliers of interior products, there will be big demand,” Welsh said.
The expanding supply of commercial real estate in the GCC provided opportunities worth $1.15 billion for interiors development in 2012. This is likely to grow to $1.43 billion in 2013. The UAE was the largest commercial interiors and fit-outs market with a spend of $504 million in 2012. Saudi Arabia will surpass its $498 million spend in 2013 with $563 million this year.
“The commercial sector that was static for a number of years is on the move again,” Welsh added.
The show will run until Thursday at the Dubai World Trade Centre.