Fit-out firms at the forefront
Fit-out is the backbone of the design sector and is a highly competitive field as well. According to the recent reports, this year UAE is expected to lead in the share of interiors and fit-out spend in the GCC region, at 42% of the total. The stats also show that the GCC building construction market’s outlook is finally positive and highlights that interior design and fit-out are closely tied to the overall health of the economy. Design Middle East presents the fit-out listing featuring the leading firms in the region based on their projects, annual turnover, and other remarkable achievements
Laurent Farge, General Manager
ALEC FITOUT, part of the ALEC Group, specialises in the fit-out and refurbishment of cultural, immersive, and luxury mixed-use developments and five-star hotel & resorts in the MENA region. Utilising their in-house network, they offer a complete interior solution fulfilling the need for project management, engineering, value engineering, design-build, procurement, and fit-out all under one contractor to the highest standards of workmanship. Laurent Farge, general manager of ALEC FITOUT, has been with the company since 2008, bringing with him 24 years’ experience of delivering luxury interior fit-out projects in Europe, the Levant, and the GCC. Over the years, Laurent has played a crucial role in the growth and development of ALEC FITOUT across the region.
The firm has recently been awarded the fit-out package for all guestrooms and suites at the new Mandarin Oriental, Wasl Tower in Dubai. Their team is looking forward to delivering a world-class solution for the project team that includes Wasl as the client, and Arabtec as the main contractor. Across the road from the Mandarin Oriental, Wasl Tower site, the team is busy completing a major fit-out package at the Iconic Skyviews Tower by Emaar. The scope includes Address Hotel Guestrooms, Address operated Serviced Apartments, and also the “Sky Collection” – luxury apartments above the Bridge Deck joining both towers at level 56. In Dubai Marina, another luxury residential FEATURE project is underway, Marina Gate, for Select Group. The project included three residential towers with ALEC as the main contractor. Marina Gate consists of Residential Towers I and II, of which both are complete, and serviced apartments through Jumeirah Living at Tower III. ALEC FITOUT is contributing to Expo 2020 too with the team executing a variety of large-scale exhibition fit-out contracts, including Mobility Pavilion, KSA Pavilion, Opportunity Pavilion, as well as building the ENOC Pavilion. ALEC FITOUT’s order book is healthy for 2020, and the aim is to secure new projects within the UAE post EXPO, as well as in KSA, where the company has recently established business and is fully registered.
Syed Kashif Akhtar, Group Managing Director
Since 1998, Havelock One Interiors has established itself as a leading turnkey fit-out service provider in the Middle East. It specialises in interior contracting and the manufacturing of bespoke joinery, decorative metal works and elaborate shop-fittings, supplied for high-end projects across sectors. Being driven by the aspiration to deliver exceptional quality through the power of thoughtful precision, Havelock One supports its sophisticated clients with dedication and care. They deliver superior services and products for hospitality, F&B, retail, commercial, government, entertainment, and select residential projects. Syed Kashif Akhtar, group managing director is heading the company since 1999. Some of its current projects include:
• EKart by Emaar Entertainment
• Turnkey fit-out of VOX Cinemas, a kids entertainment zone and 15 stores/restaurants, including Debenhams, west elm, Pottery Barn, Charlotte Tilbury, The Cheesecake Factory, Asha’s, Starbucks etc. (some of them turnkey fit-out and manufacturing, some fit-out, some manufacturing and supply) at The Galleria Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi
• Turnkey fit-out of VOX Cinemas, Nakheel Mall
• Manufacturing and fit-out of different duty free projects at Abu Dhabi and Dubai International Airport
• Joinery and FF&E supply for new resort project, including installation
• Turnkey fit-out and manufacturing for Hilton Garden Inn
• Turnkey fit-out and manufacturing for Clay restaurant
•Seven F&B projects, including Babel, P.F. Chang’s, Asha’s, Starbucks (some of them turnkey fit-out and manufacturing, some just fit-out, some manufacturing and supply) at Ajdan Walk, Al Khobar
• Three turnkey fit-outs for in Al Khobar, Jazan and Dammam for two different operators
• Five restaurants in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar for two different brands
• Turnkey fit-out of and manufacturing for Hilton Garden Inn • Turnkey fit-out/renovation for two 5* hotel
• Turnkey fit-out for Chinese restaurant
• Turnkey fit-out of VIP boxes for sports academy
• Turnkey fit-out of and manufacturing for two cinemas, including 1954 Film House
In 2020, Havelock One will open its new 300,000sqft. state-of-the-art factory in Askar, Bahrain. This will help them in tapping more into the hospitality and commercial sectors. The annual turnover of Havelock One is $160mn approx.
Marcos Bish, Managing Director
Summertown Interiors was the first fit-out contractor to occupy LEED Gold certified interiors in the UAE and has also been awarded the LEED gold certification for its existing building; operations and maintenance (LEED EBOM). All projects are executed in accordance with the internationally recognised ISO 9001:2015 quality management system. Some of the latest projects by the firm include Swiss global automation and instrumentation company—Endress & Hauser office. Summertown Interior executed the 1,300sqm fitout projects and the scope of the fit-out included a reception that incorporated a display area for demo equipment, collaboration zones, various size meeting rooms, open plan workstation area, a large multi-functional meeting room and large pantry recreation space.
Another recent project is of Sanofi and Summertown worked closely with designers Bluehaus Group to ensure the fit-out incorporated both the greenery to emphasise a park theme and various collaboration and social zones under the LEED guidelines.
Headed by Marcos Bish, Summertown Interiors is currently working on a design and build project for The Takeda Pharmaceutical Company expected to be completed in April 2020.
AL SHAFAR INTERIORS (ASI)
Dimitri Papakonstantinou , Managing Director
ASI is the interior fit-out subsidiary of construction conglomerate ASGC established in 1997. Having a state-of-theart woodworking factory in DIP as well as the in-house capability for the majority of the fit-out trades gives ASI an advantage and competitive edge in the market. Dimitri Papakonstantinou is the managing director at ASI who joined the firm in 2018. ASI has done some amazing works for the Sustainability Pavilion for Expo 2020, and then there are other five other pavilions we’re involved in like Ukraine, Australian, and Azerbaijan. They have made separate departments to just focus on Expo 2020 projects for the next eight-nine month. The brand invests heavily in technology as well. They have a company in their group called Analytica, which has been assisting ASI with innovative systems and software.
The year 2020, seems promising for ASI as The brand invests heavily in technology as well. They have a company in their group called Analytica, which has been assisting ASI with innovative systems and software. The year 2020, seems promising for ASI as they’re doing some interesting project with Emaar. They are currently, working on the fitout of Address Creek Harbour project, and an H2B Hotel at Dubai Trade Centre, which should be finished by mid-2020, two Aloft Hotels with ASGC, and looking forward to other projects like Marsa Al Arab Hotel. ASI wants to position itself as one of the top three fit-out contractors in the region. The next part of their business strategy is to look towards regional expansion with many countries in this region, such as KSA being the obvious example. ASGC has been in Egypt and been working there for the past 10 years and there are projects in Europe that they are looking at with main contractors.
Saad Moaswes, Managing Director
Known to be one of the largest fit-out companies in the region, Bond Interiors has always been dedicated to the highest quality in interior contracting, furniture manufacturing, and joinery works since 1986. With over 2,000 employees and 550,000sqft of sustainable purpose-built in-house production facilities which include joinery, glassworks, MEP, solid surface, metal works, upholstery, signage and civil works; Bond Interiors has had the advantage of achieving high standards of workmanship, quality, cost-effective and on-time project handovers in the sectors of hospitality, retail, F&B, healthcare, aviation, corporate, banking, and VIP private residences. Headed by
Saad Moaswes who is the managing director and founder, the company has expanded across seven different international locations—Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Philippines, India, China, and Italy.
With a surge in projects due to Expo 2020, Bond Interiors’ strategically implemented expansion has reached its next stage with the newly added marble division, thus increasing the in-house fitout services to nine in total. These services along with the substantial investment in state-of-theart technology and cutting edge equipment puts the company ahead of the most competition to efficiently handle complex and increased number of projects.
On a greener front, concentration is also focused on the effective inclusion of LEED accredited methods, environment-friendly products and incorporating conventional as well as new inventions in interior contracting. The company has received several industry awards over the years. Some of its latest projects are The Opus by Zaha Hadid for Omniyat, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences, St. Regis – The Palm, Sensasia Spa – Kempinski Hotel MOE, and Al Tadawi Hospital, amongst others.
Kamal Farah, CEO
Abanos is one of the largest and most reliable holistic interior fit-out and joinery companies in the UAE, with a track record of delivering highquality and tailor-made projects, all fabricated at its state-of-the-art production facilities. Established in 1985, the company has expanded steadily since its early days, now operating throughout the UAE and GCC markets and employing over 1,000 dedicated people – all hand-selected from various parts of the world. As part of the company philosophy, Abanos undertakes interior fit-out projects from concept to completion, offering professional services to architects, designers, building contractors and all other clients to produce custom-made and standard joinery components, supported by cutting-edge manufacturing facilities.
Abanos has extensive experience completing projects in a wide variety of fields, including five- star hotels, high-rise towers, royal palaces, shops, banks, offices, department stores, hospitals, schools, public spaces, and private residences. Abanos operates a 22,000sqm facility in Dubai Investment Park, with state-of-the-art machinery for wood cutting, moulding, carving, veneering, laminating and painting, capable of meeting the ambitious requirements of clients across a diverse range of sectors. With a manufacturing facility of 15,000sqm and warehousing facilities of 7,000sqm coupled with an investment in modern machinery, the company can handle various large projects simultaneously and is capable of meeting international standards of quality and lead times.
Kamal Farah is the CEO of Abanos and under his vision, the company is making such remarkable progress. Some of its latest projects are the Dubai Design District (D3), Etihad Museum, and the Studio One Hotel. Currently, the fit-out firm is also working on the Dubai Expo Village 2020 project by DWTC, Address Residences by Emaar, Opera Grand, and UNA Apartments to name a few. Abanos is also currently expanding its facilities in Jebel Ali that will increase its production and storage capacity. Some of the projects in our pipeline are Sunrise Bay, Act 1, and Act 2. For 2020, and the year ahead, the firm is welcome challenging, one-of-a-kind projects that have been a cornerstone of Abanos and continuing their path towards digitisation, automation, improving our systems, and processes through the adoption of Lean Principles and BIM. The annual turnover for Abanos is between AED200-250mn.
SWISS BUREAU INTERIOR DESIGN
Joakim de Rham, CEO & Co-founder
Swiss Bureau provides a wide range of design and build services for their clients in a variety of sectors, including commercial office, residential, hospitality, and F&B. Joakim de Rham, a Swiss interior architect and his local partner, Maher Al Zarooni, founded the company in 2003. As CEO & Co-founder, Joakim de Rham leads the Swiss Bureau team towards excellence in creativity, design, and project management. His experience in the industry has taught him valuable lessons on how the quality of service, transparency, and honesty are fundamental to any client relationship and successful project. Swiss Bureau has completed many design and build projects in the region within the past year, bolstering its interior fit-out expertise and portfolio.
Among some of their noteworthy projects is the recent completion of three design and build projects for Hira Industries. Liechtensteinche Landesbank, Revonic, and their award-winning project for Property Finder are among others to mention as they await the grand reveal of the newly built offices for Nissan and Nestle. As they continue to export their services outside of the Emirates, the team is especially excited about their expanding KSA portfolio as well. The firm’s annual turnover is AED70,000,000–AED100,000,000.
A&T GROUP INTERIORS
Tareq Khalafawi, CEO & Co-founder
Since their founding in 2009, A&T Group Interiors has worked with a remarkable range of local and international clients in a diverse array of markets. They have grown and evolved handin- hand with the technology and economic shifts, which equips them to tackle any project challenge that comes their way. Tareq Khalafawi is the CEO and co-founder of the company.
Besides the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait both remain a highly attractive market for the group.
They’re also looking forward to the continued opportunity to play a part in contributing to the successful implementation of Vision 2030.
Some of the current successful commissions of the group are CeLaVi in Address Sky View Towers in Dubai; L’eto Café in KSA; Pai Thai Restaurant in Al Qasr Hotel Madinat Jumeirah; Farzi Café, Mall of the Emirates; Saya Braserrie Cafe in City Walk, Dubai; and more! The annual turnover for A&T Group Interiors is AED90mn.
Vishal Motwani, Managing Director
From its humble beginning four decades ago, GDM Interiors has seen meteoric growth and scaled new heights with every passing year. Awarded with the ‘Award of Excellence in Innovative Fit-out at the Qadat Al Tagheer Awards’ in 2019, GDM Interiors is strengthening its blueprint in the UAE market, in the fit-out industry. GDM Interiors is a UAE-based multidisciplinary fit-out company, with immense expertise in offering concept-to-completion fitout services for retail, commercial, hospitality, office spaces, and residential.
Under the leadership of Vishal Motwani, GDM Interiors has flourished and scaled new heights of success.
GDM Interiors has an exciting portfolio of prestigious projects like Africa Capital, Nando’s, HP, Magic Planet, ZOOM, The Nail Spa and others that are spread across the F&B, residential, commercial, and hospitality sectors.
Their team of more than a hundred highly skilled and experienced employees backed by ultra-modern state of the art workshop helps them to deliver complex projects of multinational brands with stringent focus on quality, timely delivery, and complete satisfaction of their clients.
The company is collaborating with many renowned architects, and interior designers to create bespoke spaces, using both contemporary and non-contemporary materials. The firm has plans to expand into Saudi Arabia and Oman.
Ahmed and Hisham Sultan, Owners
Finasi has established itself in 1969, as a quality-led and trust-worthy interior, furnishing, and fit-out provider, with operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The Company has delivered projects to numerous blue-chip companies, hotels, restaurants, retail boutique, residential and private clients, as well as government and semi-governmental. Twins Ahmed and Hisham Sultan are leading the business today, creating modern and efficient design across the various divisions of corporate operations on famed Italian Design innovations.
The success and solid reputation of Finasi is based on its partnerships with globally renowned brands, the inhouse teams of specialists, quality, and above all, comprehensive service. Some of its latest projects include GAIA in DIFC, a Greek-Mediterranean restaurant with a modern palate and captivating charm. Then there is Scientechnic HQ located on Etihad Road, Dubai. Finasi is also of interior design fit-out works of Netherland Pavilion, Norway Pavilion, Finland Pavilion, and Uganda Pavilion. Finasi’s annual turnover is constantly above AED100mn.
Kevin Lewis, CEO
Depa is the world’s leading provider of interior solutions and has delivered projects in 43 countries, including iconic projects such as Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, Atlantis the Palm, and Dubai Opera House. Depa has its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Germany, Singapore, Egypt, UAE, Malaysia, and China. Depa is a publicly-listed company and employs thousands of people worldwide. Kevin Lewis is the CEO of the company. Depa to work with industry-leading firms such as Zaha Hadid Architects, Fosters + Partners and Santiago Calatrava.
The technical requirements of these complex projects play to Depa’s strength in BIM engineering and project management.
Depa has completed some of the prestigious hospitality projects like W the Palm, Hotel and Residences, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Dubai, Intercontinental Hotel Dhaka, Kempinski Hotel the Palm, and Address Fountain Views Downtown Dubai.
The company also has expertise in social and transport infrastructure interior solutions; it is currently delivering two iconic metro stations in KSA and an airport in the UAE.
The fit-out firm is also working on three large projects for Expo 2020. Depa had a turnover of 1.8 billion for the year 2018.
AL TAYER STOCKS
Ian Milford, CEO
Launched in 1998, Al Tayer Stocks is an interior and building contracting company, offering a full range of services across all industries inclusive of the corporate office, hospitality, education, entertainment, retail, healthcare, residential, and F&B. Ian Milford is the CEO of the company.
Some of its recently completed projects include the refurbishment of the 1540 guest rooms and six suites at Atlantis the Palm Refurbishment; The Founders Office in Abu Dhabi; WeWork, Hub 71 in Abu Dhabi; Yas W Hotel, Abu Dhabi, refurbishment of various F&B facilities within the world’s largest W Hotel; Dreamscape, Dubai; Ferrari Maserati showroom, Dubai; and others.
The company is currently working on:
• PricewaterhouseCoopers, office fit-out – five floors within Emaar Square
• Google Head office Innovation Hub, Media City Dubai, fit-out – high-end office for the technology giant
• American School of Dubai – construction of a new 235,000sqft, 600 pupil school building for one of Dubai leading education providers.
• The Cove, Abu Dhabi – construction of the new beachside development at Al Hudayriat Island in Abu Dhabi.
• Dubai College, Dubai – New sports building including swimming pool and theatre.
ATS Interiors division will be launching in Saudi later in the year, focussing on cinemas, corporate offices, and entertainment. They are also developing new technologies within the business to improve all aspects of our project delivery. The annual turnover of the company is over AED800mn.
Sean Nicholson, CEO
INC Interiors have had an active presence in the UAE since 2008 delivering full turnkey interior solutions including design, construction, IT works, and furniture supply Sean Nicholson is the CEO of INC and has been in the UAE for over 15 years now.
His expert knowledge of the industry together with the support from his senior management team ensure that the company is consistently growing and adapting which has seen us recently completing projects such as Hilton HQ Office, Etihad Credit Insurance, KidZania and Deezer amongst others.
The firm is currently working on some notable projects such as KPMG, Amazon, Coca Cola, Ashurst, Amadeus just to name a few.
Due to the increase in demand of commercial spaces in the Middle East by global blue-chip companies of which the majority are our existing clients, INC has recently expanded our Dubai office and opened a new office in Riyadh to service that part of the region INC is actively bidding on a number of projects for Expo2020 and are very much looking forward to potentially working on such a prestigious worldwide event.
Elio Gebrayel, Founder & Managing Director
Headed by founder/managing director Elio Gebrayel a successful entrepreneur, Dufit Interiors is an innovative interior fitout company that specialises in turnkey hospitality, retail, healthcare, and commercial sectors. As their business develops across UAE, Dufit is entering Saudi Arabia and Africa market for the future until 2030 with a mission to take on some challenging projects and deliver them successfully.
This dynamic company has worked with big giants such as the region like Nakheel, Emaar, and Emirates Group to name a few. The latest projects include some of the most prominent restaurants in the city along with the refurbishment of Skyteam Lounge in Dubai Airport. Dufit’s latest project completed was Mirage Boutique one of the finest porcelain and ceramic tiles and slabs manufacturers, located in the heart of Dubai Design District. Then there is also the Coffee Island, the largest European coffeehouse from Greece located in Nakheel Mall.
Geetha Nayak, Managing Partner
Established in 2012, Design Infinity has built numerous, notable strengths in the commercial fit-out industry. The company, comprising over 350 staff, specialises in large-scale fit-out and design projects – many of which are for high-profile clients across the UAE with an excellent track record of completing them on time and to a high-quality standard. Since the formation of the company, Design Infinity has maintained a steady growth rate of approximately 30% year-on-year, with a team that includes interior specialists, as well as in-house experts for MEP and IT.
The company operates a large joinery factory that covers more than 30,000sqft. along with separate divisions for glass and metal works branches in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah and 30,000sqft joinery factory in Dubai Investment Park.
Design Infinity is headed by Geetha Nayak who is the managing partner in the company. The last 12 months have been the most productive for Design Infinity as they have worked with top most clients in the industry.
Some of the most successful projects include Dubai Health Authority, BRS Ventures, DEWA Training Centre, Aqaar, Dubai Development Authority, and many more.
They are also looking to expand in other regions and intend to have joint ventures in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Joseph Charles, Founder and Managing Director
Pinnacle Interiors’ achievements encompass the completion of a diverse range of design and build projects in healthcare, commercial, retail and hospitality sectors.
Their team includes some of the most highly qualified, skilled and experienced consultants, estimators, quantity surveyors, architects, and designers, project delivery and site managers, along with procurement specialists, all of whom work together to complete projects successfully and ensure the satisfaction of our clients with a transformational fit-out.
Joseph Charles is spearheading the company with an experience of over 26 years. Pinnacle Interiors is working with several private, semi-government and governmental organisations in UAE. Current projects include a well-known healthcare provider in Dubai, renowned developer in Dubai, and government offices in UAE.
Michel Khoury, Managing Director
Established in 2004, by Michel Khoury, who is the founder and acting managing director, Emkay Interiors is an interior contracting company specialised in the fit-out and construction of modular buildings for commercial and corporate projects. As an architect with over 20 years’ of international experience, Khoury’s expertise and technical knowledge along with competent managerial skills have played a pivotal role in the growth of the company for almost two decades.
Aside from commercial and corporate sectors, Emkay has numerous prestigious projects that are nearing completion in other sectors namely healthcare, F&B, and education. Emkay’s dedicated in-house teams supported by stateof- the-art manufacturing facilities are highlyskilled in all aspects that are essential to quality construction and fit-out. Turnkey services along with MEP, are additional areas of specialization that Emkay is renowned for. Some of its latest projects are Chingon Restaurant in Business Bay, Baytak Building in Media City, American Hospital Clinic in Al Barsha, and DMC Management in Media City. Some of Emkay’s ongoing projects are American Hospital Clinic in Al Khawaneej Last Exit, Arada Sales Center in Sharjah (designed by Zaha Hadid Architects), Emaratech Offices in Media City, Bulgary Manson interior works, Blossom nurseries in two locations, and Dubai Production City 4 Buildings. 2020 has already started quite favourably for Emkay Interiors with a number of ongoing projects.
With many more in the pipeline and the date to the Expo nearing, Emkay is confident of a rise in projects especially in the hospitality industry due to the increased number of people projected to visit the country during the span of the event.