“Short deadlines are the biggest challenge for hotel projects. This is where Nowy Styl Group’s experience in managing many projects at a time becomes crucial. It guarantees to customers that everything will go as they imagined”, say the team of increasingly successful Stylis Dubai, a company providing comprehensive hotel room fit-out services in the Gulf region.
“A record number of foreign tourists visited Dubai in 2017, strengthening its position as one of the most popular cities in the world” the UAE daily Gulf News proudly announced in February. With nearly 16 million visitors, Dubai has managed to take the 4th place in the global ranking, but looking at how quickly the city is developing, including its enormous expenditures on tourism, it seems quite obvious that its further advance is only a matter of time. Especially that the goal has been clearly defined: 20 million tourists in 2020.
The Spirit of Possible
A rather narrow road, lonesome skyscrapers drifting in the sand, islands of palms here and there, and a harsh desert beyond them – this was the centre of Dubai in the early 90s, now strewn over with skyscrapers erected on the shore of an artificial lake. The momentum and the speed with which the city transformed into a modern metropolis astounded the world. Especially that, unlike London, Paris or Istanbul, Dubai could not rely on a history of a few centuries to help build its popularity. It had to be built virtually from scratch.
The threshold of 10 million tourists a year was exceeded in 2012. A few months later, Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Sheikh of Dubai solemnly signed Dubai’s Vision for Tourism for 2020. The document declares that the number of international visitors will be doubled.
The city immediately became a gigantic construction site. The hosts took on a very comprehensive approach to the project: “We don’t differentiate between visitors coming for business or tourist purposes. A conference participant of today is a tourist of tomorrow. There are many ways in which we will want to keep them in Dubai for longer”, said Helal al Marri, Director of the Department of Tourism and Marketing. Office buildings, shopping malls and amusement parks were growing rapidly around the city. On top of that, everything had to be the best, the biggest, the most expensive and the most spectacular.
“The Spirit of Possible” is how Dubai was defined in a global advertising campaign, showing it as a city of unlimited potential.
A thought-out move
As a result, the number of tourists visiting the city grew by 10 percent every year. The result is already impressive, even though a real boom should still be expected. Dubai has been chosen to host the World Expo 2020, which is to be the crowning achievement of all aspects of the city's growth. For companies in the hotel industry, it is a lucrative vision. One of them is Stylis Dubai, a company specializing in comprehensive furnishing services for hotels and a joint venture of the Nowy Styl Group, a European leader in providing comprehensive fit-outs for offices and public spaces and a Saudi Arabian company Stylis, which has been providing furniture solutions for hotel facilities, mainly in its own country, for over 15 years.
The Saudis sourced the furniture from the Nowy Styl Group. The cooperation lasted for a long time and brought tangible results – a total of 21 luxury projects were fitted out in that way. In January, the Group decided to acquire a majority stake in Stylis Dubai, becoming more closely engaged in the Middle East hotel market. “It was a deliberate move. We considered projects previously implemented together with the Saudi Arabian partner, and prospects for the development of the industry both in Dubai and the neighbouring emirates, as well as in the entire Gulf region”, explains Roman Przybylski, Sales Director and Member of the Management Board for the Nowy Styl Group, describing the details of setting up the joint venture.
“Another reason was desire to intensify activity on the UAE market in the area of office space furnishing, which is our core business. A local sales team was established, and given a powerful tool - showroom opened in Dubai”, adds Director Przybylski.
Middle East opportunities
This is a long-term investment, because it looks like Dubai is not slowing down after Expo 2020. The city has skilfully built its brand – at first, it tempted visitors with exclusivity, while now it is giving a chance to taste luxury to a much wider group of people. There are more and more attractively priced three- and four-star hotels in the metropolitan landscape, and budget flights to dozens of cities in Europe, Africa and Asia have been launched. “In the Gulf region, also Oman is becoming increasingly popular, and Qatar is preparing for the Football World Cup in 2022, at which, by the way, we will have a strong presence as we are the supplier of seats for World Cup stadiums” , says Roman Przybylski, listing only some of many business opportunities that the Middle Eastern presence is offering.
Every detail counts
Stylis Dubai has already completed its first projects. The company has furnished 504 rooms and reception area (including lounge, arabic corner and Le Grand Cafe’) for a completely refurbished Two Seasons hotel, and 111 rooms for an Occidental hotel. Both hotels are located in the central part of the city and serve business customers. Barracuda hotel, on the other hand, is a resort hotel erected in Umm Al Quwain, several dozen kilometres north of Dubai, and it has 74 rooms furnished by Stylis. A project to furnish Barcelo, a hotel with 128 rooms in Dubai, is also heading towards the end.
Each of these projects is a multi-faceted undertaking that an “ordinary” manufacturer of furniture would probably be unable to deliver. Mainly because practically everything in the hotel industry, and definitely furniture, needs to be custom-made. “Every owner wants to have an individual style, which in 99 percent of cases means we need completely new shapes, usually utilizing custom materials. Quite naturally, to deliver on such a contract you must have the right experience as well as production and logistic facilities. This is what the Nowy Styl Group has”, emphasizes Sylwia Misiołek, Acting Manager of the Group’s hotel division. A team of experts she leads works exclusively for Stylis and is responsible for pricing orders, technical design of furniture, production and shipping from Poland to the Persian Gulf.
Although furniture is the basis of fit-outs, there are also accessories in the rooms that the Group does not manufacture itself. Here starts the role of Anna Boczar, Operations Manager at Stylis, who has been supporting the Polish company for several years, searching the market for the right products. “All hotel facilities are turnkey projects. So, in addition to furniture there is lighting, carpet flooring, curtain rods, net curtains, curtains, bedspreads etc. You have to choose, purchase and deliver the right quantities, paying special attention to aesthetics and durability. Our furniture is regarded as a benchmark of quality in Dubai, so the accessories must meet strict quality criteria. Literally every detail counts here. We try to choose products manufactured in Europe, because the European market enjoys great trust in the UAE”, she explains.
Like at home
Production, delivery and assembly of furniture are some of the competences of Stylis. The company has been offering the comprehensive service right from the beginning. On its team there are two interior designers who work closely with the investor, usually represented by many different entities, such as architects.
“I can well say that we often start from scratch. Guidelines are very general, even for chain hotels which, actually, can differ between one another. Of course, the category of the hotel is decisive, as it determines the standard of fit-outs. The function is also important – a room in a hotel designed for business guests will look a bit different than one in a resort by the sea. Finally, we take into account the owner's taste, which is why we approach every hotel individually - because each of them is a separate story”, says Stylis Designer Nemanja Derman.
In spite of the fact that at first sight Dubai might be associated with oriental style creations, the city is far from hanging on tightly to the Arab tradition. This is due to its atmosphere: the Dubai, or more broadly UAE market is very international. It is a melting pot of all styles and there is no single direction to follow.
However, the hotel industry is dominated by contemporary design. That trend was well illustrated by the design of the company's stand at the Dubai Hotel Show 2018 in September. The company arranged two exemplary rooms in the spirit of Modern Art Deco, a modern version of the style that first conquered the entire world. The Arabic roots are highlighted with delicate, local Arabic touches. “Although there are exceptions, like the Two Seasons hotel”, says Nemanja Derman. “The lobby of that hotel exudes splendour and richness. This is because the owners and most of the guests come from Saudi Arabia, where the indigenous culture is strongly rooted.”
There is, however, an overriding rule that the Stylis team hold on to. It is the atmosphere that guests should feel at a place that is, after all, unfamiliar to them. “Tourists spend an average of 3.5 days in Dubai. From the design, through the materials, to the selection of accessories we do our best to make them feel at home in ‘our’ rooms.”
The Synergy Effect
“Short deadline is the biggest challenge for every project”, admits Mahidhar Vallamkondu, Sales Manager at Stylis Dubai. “Anyone who has ever arranged a flat or a house knows that it is a very time-consuming process, while in the hotel business timely completion is a priority, so that the hotel can start making money as soon as possible. For the Occidental hotel, we only had one and a half months to furnish over a hundred rooms, and for the Two Seasons hotel we fitted out over half a thousand rooms plus public areas in six months.
"What's more, we recently carried out several projects at a time”, he emphasizes. “Starting from production to assembly, each stage had to be perfectly organized. This is where the experience of the Nowy Styl Group comes in, as the Group manages multiple big office and stadium projects at a time on a daily basis. This synergy guarantees to our customers that everything will be as they imagined: unique, reliable, tasteful and on time. This is our own “Spirit of Possible”.
Contacts details for Dubai showroom, as well as Stylis sales team, can be found here.