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Wed 24 Oct 2007 04:14 PM

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Brighter, bigger and better

Hotels in the Middle East are striving for unique furniture and contemporary styles to ensure their product stands out in the crowd.

Hotels in the Middle East are striving for unique furniture and contemporary styles to ensure their product stands out in the crowd.

With the Middle East hotel industry booming and new properties entering the market on a regular basis, hotels are looking to the future and demanding more contemporary designs when it comes to furnishing their properties.

"It's very difficult to talk about trends, because each hotel has its own theme, so it would be a generalisation, but we used to do a lot of classical styles and now we're seeing a lot more modern design, more straight lines and bolder colours and dark woods," says Tanya Wakeham, manager of furniture supplier Selva Middle East LLC.

Looks are very important for hotels, because obviously furniture’s something that guests look at so it reflects on their whole image as a hotel.

Claudia van der Werf, director of Dubai furniture supplier Desert River, agrees that hotels in the region are going for anything that looks contemporary, rather than traditional functional furniture, but they still their own unique preferences.

"They love everything that has a light in it, so lit furniture is really a trend and we get a lot of demand for that," she adds.

"In my experience they love a bit of colour here, a bit more maybe than in Europe, where there's probably a trend for a lot more minimalist furniture than there would be over here. It has to be quite spectacular and the bigger the better."

Selva offers a bespoke service and the fact that each hotel is looking for its own individual style has seen many turning to customised items to stay ahead of the competition, according to Wakeham.

"You find that a lot of hotels now are four-star hotels but they're really four-star plus, which means they want to be a five-star. People can choose now. Now they have to be a lot cleverer with their styles because the customer is a lot more selective," she says.

It's also this need for something different that makes Van der Werf's products popular, she argues.

"In our company we cater to quite a specific demand so I guess that's the reason why people come to us, and some of our products we can customise with branding and with colours. We are already known for having things that are not so ordinary," she says.

It is to Europe that Van der Werf turns for inspiration for her product range, and she's just returned from attending an exhibition in Paris, which gave her a lot of inspiration.

"There were a lot of young and talented designers there that are just starting up their businesses, so it's really inspiring and you get a lot of ideas from there. Also, we are known, so if the manufacturers see something new on the market they tend to tip us off," she explains.

Aside from being modern and different the main requirement from hotels is that the furniture is durable.

"Looks are very important for hotels because obviously furniture is something that their guests look at [constantly], so it reflects on their whole image as a hotel, but the furniture has to be pretty damage proof, says Van der Werf.

"Items have to be of a very good quality, so little children or people that have had a drink can't easily damage the furniture," she adds.

There is a lack of durability standards in the Middle East, according to Wakeham, but if you have to furnish a five-star hotel then they have specific requirements.

"The standards are not as high here as in Europe, but they are gradually coming over because we have so many western hotel companies over here," she says. "But if you want good health and safety standards then the only market you can go to is the European market, because the Chinese and Malaysian markets don't have those standards."

For this reason European brands are a lot more popular in the Middle East, and Van der Werf says that it is countries like Italy, France, Germany and Holland that are setting the trends that dominate the market, but she adds, "I don't know if that means that hotels don't buy Middle Eastern products."

"You do have to meet a lot of quality requirements in Europe before you're actually able to commercialise a product though. The standards of testing are very high in Europe," she concludes.
Arteriors custom made furniture

Arteriors has been manufacturing furniture for the past 15 years and provides quality custom made products to the hotel industry, produced in its factory in Indonesia. Arteriors can supply all types of furniture, made to the design and specifications of each individual client, offering competitive prices and with all items made from the finest materials. Displays of the firm's products can be viewed at its Dubai office.

Arteriors Zone Trading LLC,
Tel: +971 4 223 2245,
Fax: +971 4 223 2245,
Email: arterior@eim.ae, Web: www.arteriorszone.com

Downtown

The Downtown collection has been developed by Selva and Lorenzo Bellini. Selva designed this line by combining the influences from the heart of the city of Rome where the fusion of cultures comes together. The concept of the downtown furniture is to be able to use individual pieces for unique furnishing styles as you can see in Rome's St George Hotel.

Selva Middle East LLC,
Tel: +971 4 341 1933,
Fax: +971 4 341 1799,
Email: tanya@selva-me.ae, Web: www.selva.com

Seashore

This range of natural-look outdoor wicker furniture is ideal for use within the hotel industry. The chairs have large fitted cushions, which are self draining and weather protected and come with a three year guarantee, making them perfectly suited to use in hotels.

Ozi Trading LLC,
Tel: +971 4 397 7735,
Fax: +971 4 396 4994,
E-mail: ozi@eim.ae

Moonlight Modula sofa

This module lounge set, including a coffee table and interconnected furniture is delicately crafted from wicker and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is ideal for outdoor use in luxury hotels.

Ozi Trading LLC,
Tel: +971 4 397 7735,
Fax: +971 4 396 4994, Email: ozi@eim.ae

Patapoof inflatable buffet

The Patapoof inflatable buffet is an original piece, which reflects the trend for lit objects currently prevalent in the Middle East hotel industry. It is 334cm long, 135cm wide and 90-120cm high, manufactured from fire retardant fabric, with anti-moulding and anti-marking protection. The cover can be personalised with branding and the buffet comes with a transport bag and wheels.

Desert River,
Tel: +971 4 345 4541,
Fax: +971 4 345 4542,
Email: claudia@desertriver.com, Web: www.DesertRiver.com

Bahama sofa set

This sofa set is fitted with luxurious cushions to provide ultimate comfort for the user. Compact and manufactured entirely from weather-proof materials the furniture offers an indoor feel that will also fit outdoors.

Ozi Trading LLC,
Tel: +971 4 397 7735,
Fax: +971 4 396 4994,
Email: ozi@eim.ae

Premiere Collection

The Premier Collection includes a sunlounger, chaise lounge and a low armchair, with all items combining an aluminium structure, semi-transparent ‘batyline' canvas, and triangular profiled frames.

EGO,
Tel: +33 (0)4 7465 0854,
Fax: +33 (0)4 7468 4406,
Email: m.pelletier@egoparis.com, Web: www.egoparis.com

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