Design hub

The infrastructure, hospitality and residential sectors in the Gulf are locked in a state of constant development. And with huge growth forecast for the coming years in the run-up to Expo 2020 in Dubai, the leading names in the construction and design sectors are being called on to supply the ideas, materials and interior-design solutions to help deliver the myriad super-projects currently underway. A study commissioned by Index Dubai has identified interior design as one of the region’s most rapidly expanding industries, with the construction sector performing best of all: in 2017, the sector was valued at $9.2bn per year, up a full billion on the previous year.

Profits are booming for interior accessories too. The lighting sector is growing fast and forecast to reach a total value of $3.5bn by 2020. Imports and exports of textile products for the furniture industry are worth around $3bn per year, with other interior accessories segments recording similar results (source:

The forecasts predict that the design industry in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region, which is currently registering annual growth of 6%, will reach $147.5bn by 2019. In the UAE, the leading design market in the region ($29.7bn in 2015) and its second-largest economy after Saudi Arabia, the sector is expected to be worth $35.9bn within two years (source:

Dubai is increasingly taking on the role of regional design hub and is already established as one of the world’s international design capitals. The city is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the world, with a further 100,000 new hotel rooms set to appear by the time the Expo rolls around in 2020. With the event potentially set to attract over 20 million visitors, this is without doubt one of the most crucial periods ever for the community of builders, architects and designers operating in the region.