The interior design and home décor sector in the area of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) is destined to continue flourishing in the coming years thanks to an increase in the construction of residential buildings, hotels, schools, and hospitals. Leading the market are the United Arab Emirates, followed by Saudi Arabia, which is showing a tendency for growth. Other emerging countries in the area are Kuwait (above all for its construction of schools), Oman (for its new hotels), and Bahrain (for its retail sector).
The NBK (National Bank of Kuwait) expects an economic growth of 2.3% in 2019 and 2.6% in 2020 for the GCC area. In the construction sector the value of new projects should rise by 12%. Between 10% and 20% of this value is made up of interior design, which includes furniture, lighting systems, dividing walls, flooring, and kitchen and bathroom accessories. Overall, the design and décor sector is expected to close 2019 at a value of €9.401 billion. Of the sectors involved, the main projects are those for hotels and residential structures, as well as those already begun for Expo 2020.
Dubai is an important destination for the Italian wood furnishings industry, which in 2017 supplied products for a total value of €870 million, and in the first six months of 2018 for a total value of €451.6 million. Furniture and lighting make up the largest portion, for a total value (in the first half of 2018) of €408.2 million.