GCC interiors market to see 87% growth in 2012

The overall GCC interior contracting and fit-out market will increase by 87 percent in value this year, the highest increase since 2008, according to new research.

The market will be worth $9.4bn from $5.04bn in 2011, according to research by Ventures ME. New data showed that the UAE remains the GCC’s largest interiors market, with forecast spend in interior contracting and fit-out across residential, commercial, hospitality and retail segments totalling $3.73bn for 2012, up 62 percent on 2011 figures.

Despite this strong growth, the UAE’s dominance is now being challenged, with Saudi Arabia’s interiors and fit-out sector growing twice as quickly over the year and more than doubling in value – up 125 percent to $3.48bn.

The market in the Gulf kingdom has been buoyed by significant government investment in housing, healthcare, education and other infrastructure projects. The interiors sector in Qatar and Oman also recorded significant growth for the year, up 91 percent to $1.15bn and 125 percent to $0.27bn in 2012 respectively.

The data showed that Kuwait registered the highest GCC market growth – a rise of 242 percent to $0.65bn in 2012. This was spurred largely by the retail segment, as Phase III of the Avenues mall nears completion, and sees Kuwait clock the highest retail fit-out spend in the GCC for 2012.

Bahrain was the only GCC market not to record any growth, remaining flat at a forecast value of $0.28bn. The research, commissioned by dmg :: events, the organising team behind the INDEX International Design Exhibition which takes place in Dubai in September, showed fit out and interiors spend across all segments in 2012 – residential, commercial, hospitality and retail – grew significantly since 2011.

The GCC’s residential segment still accounts for the largest spend on interiors, set to increase in value from $2.5bn in 2011 to $3.7bn in 2012 (up 48 percent), and accounting for 39 percent of the overall GCC interior contracting and fit-out market.

“The report is great news for all of us working in interiors and fit out,” said Naomi Barton, INDEX event director.

“The sector in the GCC is now at its highest value since 2008, all segments are seeing marked growth, and all markets are performing well – and many of them exceptionally well.”

The Gulf’s burgeoning hospitality segment, recording a 170 percent growth to $1.7bn in 2012, now puts it in second place, and on par with the commercial segment, which doubled in value from $0.85bn to $1.7bn over the year.

The completion of mall space not just in Kuwait but across the GCC provided the biggest retail segment boost – with value increasing more than threefold, up 219 percent from $0.22bn to $0.7bn.

Spend on additional projects, including social and business infrastructure projects like airports, hospitals and schools, remained relatively flat in comparison with other segments but still showed a marked uptick of 18 percent, valued at $1.6bn in 2012.