Fit outs flying up fast

With new structures appearing on the skyline almost daily, interior fit out companies have had a busy year. Next year may be even busier as a slew of new properties approach completion.

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By  Colin Foreman Published  November 7, 2004

Fit outs flying up fast|~|46 Product Body.jpg|~||~|The market for building interiors is as busy as ever, with a number of companies reporting bumper years. Much of this work is coming from new builds as the development of Dubai continues at pace. A large number of massive residential blocks that were little more than holes in the ground a year ago are now almost complete structures that are clad and ready for interior fit out specialists to arrive onsite and finish the building. A number of towers fall into this category, like the Burj Dubai Residences, which have now either reached or are close to reaching their final heights. Other structures are a little less advanced but should be ready at some point next year. Tower blocks are not the only type of residential property fuelling this demand. Villa construction is a large market with a number of new developments by both Emaar and Nakheel under construction and a variety of others on the drawing board such as the thousands of villas on Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel Ali. Likewise, the hotel industry is another sector that has kept the interiors industry busy this year, and that trend looks set to continue with the Park Hyatt, Kempinski at Mall of the Emirates and the Intercontinental at Dubai Festival City to name just three. Again, the two palm islands will offer a number of major hotels including an IFA Resort and the $2 billion Atlantis Resort. Offices and commercial space have also played a part in driving the market. “We have had our most successful year here,” says Rob Denman, sales and marketing manager, Kinnarps. “The only problem is that many of our clients simply can’t find real estate to move into, which is obviously restricting growth,” he adds. A large portion of the office fit outs that are carried out are in the various free zones dotted around Dubai, such as Dubai Media City, Internet City, Knowledge Village and Jebel Ali Free Zone. Many of the companies looking for new space or expanding their existing premises are now executing plans that were put on hold during the second Gulf War or are companies moving their regional offices out of Saudi Arabia as a result of the security situation there. All this is having an affect on the type of fit out required. “Installations are getting bigger, existing clients are either consolidating and moving their operations to a full scale headquarters for the region, or new clients are moving in with more support than was traditionally given as the importance of the region grows,” says Denman. One free zone that will have a tremendous impact on the amount of office work available will be Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC), which will be home to modern tower blocks housing banks and other financial institutions. The interiors needed for these operations will differ to the standard offices normally installed in Dubai because they will have a far larger areas for interacting with the customer. “Banks and the finance centres traditionally have larger budgets because they have more client-facing operations and therefore require plusher installations,” explains Denman.||**||

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