Words by Marco De Leo, managing partner of BonelliErede’s Dubai office
Dubai, renowned for its extravagant lifestyle, continues to elevate its status as a global hub of refined living. Recent years have witnessed an unprecedented surge in luxury real estate developments, which have not only reshaped the city’s skyline but also had a transformative influence on luxury businesses, particularly those in the interior design sector. As Dubai propels forward, it finds itself at the crossroads of sophistication and innovation, redefining the benchmarks for luxurious living.
The emirate’s allure for businesses and investors has increased significantly, propelled by factors such as effective pandemic management, a stable economic and geopolitical landscape, and initiatives that include diverse residential visa options. The influx of expatriate residents and the unprecedented number of annual tourists have skyrocketed the demand for both residential and commercial properties. In response, Dubai has unveiled extravagant projects such as the Baccarat and Cavalli residences, thereby showcasing an unwavering commitment to expanding the boundaries of sophisticated living.
Dubai’s prominence as a global luxury epicentre is further solidifying as it takes the lead in the luxury real estate market. With property prices poised for substantial growth in the second half of the year – the forecasted increase is of 6-8 per cent – the surge in demand is translating into a significant uptick in clients seeking support for personal or investment-related real estate transactions.
Discernible shifts in the preferences of high-end real estate buyers clearly emerge from the market data. Coveted features now include open-floor plans, multifunctional spaces, abundant natural light, green spaces, artistic installations, and bold accent walls. This aesthetic evolution aligns with a global trend towards responsible living, which sees a growing inclination towards sustainability and environmentally friendly materials.
Amidst increasing demand and a continuous stream of new projects, the market offers abundant opportunities for interior design firms to forge collaborations. Beyond creating aesthetically pleasing spaces, success now hinges on aligning with the evolving preferences of a discerning clientele. Having recognised this, high-end luxury interiors and furnishings brands strategically enter the market, exemplified by partnerships like Fendi Casa’s collaboration with DAMAC Properties to create the renowned Fendi villas.
For interior design firms eyeing the region, establishing a foothold is not just advantageous – it is imperative. The market’s high competitiveness, with new entrants vying for a share of booming infrastructure and construction projects, makes collaborations with local partners and luxury brands a must for success.
In this transformative period, the crucial role of law firms like BonelliErede has never been clearer. At the intersection of luxury real estate and interior design, experienced law firms with extensive industry knowledge are indeed becoming indispensable allies. Their services extend beyond real estate transactions, encompassing corporate structuring, contract negotiation, project financing, tenders, claims relating to works in progress, and dispute management.
As luxury real estate and interior design converge, Dubai is not merely undergoing a construction boom but a cultural and aesthetic renaissance. The symbiotic collaboration between the two industries is shaping a distinctive identity for the city on the global stage, narrating a tale of modern sophisticated living.
The future of the luxury interior design sector in Dubai appears promising, with sustainability and environmentally friendly designs taking centre stage. Interior designers must adapt to evolving preferences, which includes incorporating cutting-edge technologies and eco-friendly practices to stay ahead in the market.
However, opportunities come with challenges. Interior design firms entering the Dubai market must navigate cultural nuances, adhere to local regulations, and establish relationships with key stakeholders. Understanding the unique demands and preferences of the clientele and aligning designs with the cultural context are crucial factors for success.
Dubai’s luxury real estate boom transcends reshaping its skyline – it is redefining the city’s identity and essence. Interior design firms, particularly those adept at merging luxury with sustainability, stand poised to thrive in this dynamic market. As the industry evolves, strategic collaborations, innovative designs and legal expertise will be instrumental in capitalising on the opportunities presented by Dubai’s luxury real estate surge. Law firms with proven expertise remain unwavering allies for those seeking success in this burgeoning sector, as they can successfully navigate the convergence of elegance and innovation that defines Dubai’s extraordinary journey into the future of sophisticated living.
About Marco De Leo
Marco De Leo is the managing partner of BonelliErede’s Dubai office and a corporate law expert, with a focus on M&A, JVs, and infrastructure and extraordinary transactions. He has been with the firm since 2005 – a partner since 2019. Marco is a member of some of the firm’s specialised teams, including the Africa and Middle East Team and the Luxury Focus Team, and has extensive expertise in the airport, railway, automotive, banking, fashion and pharmaceutical industries. His leadership, expertise and commercial mindset make him a key support in navigating complex multi-jurisdictional transactions.