Love That Design, a global interior design platform that showcases the region’s best architecture and interior design projects recently conducted a survey with over 100 professionals belonging to various groups in the design ecosystem. Clients, contractors, design firms, manufacturers and educators explored current findings and identified any major shifts, trends and insights happening within the design industry. Factors such as the economy, technology, education, geopolitical and the impact of Covid were assessed.
The report highlighted that the MENA region sets a high benchmark for global design where the Middle East scores 6.9 out of 10 as the average client rating for inspirational design while 85% of survey respondents agreed that Europe and the UK were leading the way for inspirational design. However, the UAE isn’t far behind. At least 60% of respondents believed the UAE, and Dubai in particular, is rising up the challenge. One possible reason for the improved outlook is Expo 2020 with an influx of foreign investment and a rise in tourism projects leading to an increase in incoming design talent into the region.
The Middle East scores 6.9 out of 10 as the average client rating for inspirational design
Ben D’souza, Co-Founder, Love That Design said, “The UAE and KSA’s efforts to develop a strong non-oil-based economy will pay off well for the design industry. Opportunities outside of the usual corporate design projects (finance, government or FMCG) will emerge, drawing more talent into the region. Designs are becoming bolder, more experiential, and grander. A clear example is the exciting new entertainment market in the KSA. With the relaxation of rules and changes in policies, a lot of room for opportunity and growth has opened up.”
“More direct purchases, digital-only dealerships, demand for sustainable products are some of the changes we at Love That Design foresee the industry will start to come through in 2022.”
The corporate sector continues to take the dominant lead in driving the design industry’s growth. Survey results point to a strong 48% of total respondents who believe projects from local and multinational companies will fuel much of the growth and creativity in the industry. At 70%, contractors are most bullish about corporate sector projects. A shared belief among them is the continued demand for innovative workspaces, regardless of the economic situation caused by the pandemic.
Hospitality is perceived to come in at second place. The region’s flourishing tourism economy and its contribution to the GDP lend itself well as a key driver behind the design industry’s growth. Leaving aside the impacts of Covid-19, the tourism sector has plenty to offer, including but not limited to the staycation culture. Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation in the design industry pushing design firms, contractors and manufacturers to embrace the latest technology.
24% of clients surveyed expressed that Project Management was a key desirable expertise for evaluating tenders to award projects
Close to 36% believe current economic conditions made worse by Covid-19 will have lingering effects, and will remain the biggest threat in 2025. Another 17% conveyed concerns about global political uncertainty posing a threat to market stability.
23% of designers surveyed believed cultural considerations should be the top priority during the conceptualization stage. But clients feel differently – a little over 33% want to focus on technology, and over 36% believe that software is the key to solving problems and enhancing design capabilities.
24% of clients surveyed also expressed that Project Management was a key desirable expertise for evaluating tenders to award projects. Across all respondents however, 20% feel presenting a creative offering is the top criteria, while 17% believe industry experience is the driving force to winning projects and 13% feel customer relationships and strategic alliances are key components to success.