As part of our focus on Dubai we spoke with BCFA member Burgess Furniture about their advice for Interior Designers entering this ever expanding market. Burgess Furniture is the UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of high-quality chairs and tables for the international hospitality sector, having supplied the Middle East for over 43 years, Burgess opened their Dubai base in 2014.
What does the contract furniture scene look like in Dubai for 2018?
We focus on the hospitality market, which continues to be strong in Dubai. Because most of our work is based on new projects we can work on a particular hotel for several years – between two and four years is quite normal for us. The momentum is, of course, geared toward the holding of the World Expo in 2020 in Dubai.
Which no.1 tip would you give to designers specifying for a project in Dubai?
Let us work with you in order to offer the correct solution from the beginning. Hotel furniture not only has to look good but operationally it has to work and that’s where our expertise is, collaborating with all the key international and local hotel brands.
What should designers be aware of when working in Dubai?
The key thing is to take advantage of the help that’s available. For instance, we have a showroom in Dubai where many of our products are available to view. It means we can either send a sample to the designer, or better still, they can come and see our products first-hand before specifying us. There are some great designers in Dubai that really understand the products they are specifying, but as new designers enter the industry we would like to see more of them visit the suppliers in order to collaborate with them for the most bespoke results.
Which Dubai design events should designers put in their diary?
We take a stand at the Hotel Show in Dubai every year, which we find is a great showcase for our products and the launch pad for many of our new designs. We also attend ‘meet the buyer’ events such as HOTEC and Hi-Design, which both provide great opportunities for meeting suppliers/buyers and, of course, designers.
Where can interior designers go to find out about the regulations for Dubai which may affect them?
The simple answer is to us! We are aware of the hospitality industry requirements for things such as fire retardancy and the strength and stability of each item. It’s worth pointing out that all our products go through rigorous independent testing in the UK by FIRA before we launch them to the market to ensure they are totally fit for purpose.