Several major global events will help to transform the almost exclusively oil-based economy of the Gulf region into a more services-oriented economy.
Projects and work for the 2019 World Championships in Athletics in Doha, Expo 2020 in Dubai and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are already underway.
The furnishing and design industry is showing great potential with regard to these developments. The need to furnish new facilities, luxury hotels and restaurants offers great opportunities for international furniture manufacturers.
The Gulf region is still a significant target market for suppliers from all over the world, thanks to its continuous economic growth over the years.
The construction and hospitality industries support the development of interior design. Projects in Qatar, UAE and Saudia Arabia can easily exceed $25 million. Saudia Arabia is by far the largest market in the region for interior furnishings and this market is expected to grow by a further 13.7% by 2017.
Hospitality business in the Gulf region will continue to prosper, due both to the major events planned in the coming years and to its strategic position, at a crossroads between the East and the West that welcomes visitors from every continent.
Dubai has set itself the target of hosting 20 million visitors by 2020.
In spite of the vast, luxury buildings, the main market for interior design in the Gulf region is the residential market: the inhabitants of the Arab countries continue to redesign the spaces where they live and work, in part due to the widespread culture of refurbishing their houses every year before the month of Ramadan.
In 2016, the home furnishings sector is expected to generate interior design projects with a total value of $8.8 billion.
Residential projects account for the largest share of the interior furnishings market, followed by hotels and commercial facilities. This fact is attributed to the intense and stable growth of the population and consequent demand for housing. The high demand for houses in the low-to-medium price range is expected to drive the growth of the residential sector in the coming years.