Dulux opens the Gulf's first Decorator Centre

The UK chemicals giant, ICI, claims to have begun what one executive described as "a revolution in the Gulf paint industry" by opening the first Decorator in the region.

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By  David Cass Published  October 31, 2002

The UK chemicals giant, ICI, claims to have begun what one executive described as "a revolution in the Gulf paint industry" by opening the first Decorator in the region.

The outlet, strategically located off the Al Wasl road and next to the Iranian Hospital in Dubai's Satwa district, is the first to cater to both the trade and retail markets. Designed and implemented by Terry White, the Dulux manager on secondment to the Al Gurgh group, it features room designs using furniture and fittings from other Al Gurgh Group suppliers as well as a comprehensive range of paints and equipment for the DIY and trade decorators alike.

White says, "In a region dominated by rental property, our research shows that people do want to paint their homes rather than live with the plain white walls provided by the region's landlords."

Although the concept of home decorating centres is well established in Europe and the USA, the Al Gurgh Leigh team believe they are well placed to capitalise on the fact that quality paint retail is a new concept in the Middle East.

Philip Matthews, General manager of Al Gurgh Leigh Paints, said "This is going to escalate competition in the region." He revealed that the company is poised to escalate its advertising around the centre, with press and radio campaigns in the pipeline. He is particularly focussed on placing advertorials in women's magazines. "Women are the family members who decide on decor issues," he said.

The managing director of ICI's International Paints division, Tony Myers, believed that the launch was important enough for him to make a personal visit to Dubai. "We are very excited about this development," he said, adding "This is the first of several Dulux Decorator Centres that we will be opening throught the region over the next few months."

The next two are scheduled for Doha, in Qatar and Muscat, in Oman.

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