The UAE has been witnessing an upsurge in demand for luxury and high-quality affordable fit-outs as more people opt for larger and safe homes that also serve as their offices, in line with the current trend to work remotely, according to Bianca & Bianco (BnB).
The Dubai-based high-quality fittings, ceramic tiles and sanitary ware company last month marked its first year of successful operations. “Contrary to what some might presume, it has been a year of growth for our businesses. I would go so far as to say that current trends have created more context for the fit-outs industry,” Ahid Shaikh, Co-Founder and CEO of Bianca & Bianco, tells Gulf Construction.
This is thanks to the upswing in demand for more spacious homes and with it the desire to fit out, upgrade or renovate homes with quality fittings and hygiene in mind.
Shaikh elaborates: “The pandemic has been a dark time for the entire world, however, it has had a positive impact on the number of transactions in global real estate sector, which is particularly evident in Dubai and Canada.”
According to the Dubai Land Department, the last six months have witnessed an upswing in real estate transactions, with villas and townhouses in high demand. A combination of favourable pricing and the Covid-led heightened need for larger and safe homes has been driving a spike in new homebuyers, especially in mid- to high-priced homes, he says.
“The Dubai leadership’s proactive response to the pandemic – whether through timely lockdowns and strict safety regulations, or the accelerated vaccination programme – has meant that buyer confidence is strong,” he adds.
“Visitors from the UK, US, and India, who stayed in Dubai over the last few months, generated a lot of positive feedback, leading to a 20 to 25 per cent surge in sales in the Dh22-25 million ($6-6.8 million) luxury property category, across both investors and buyers. The pandemic has focused thoughts on the necessity of having a home that is both a good investment and a secure space, safe from the contagion. With a significant section of the population working remotely, people need ample space. This is driving interest in villas and townhouses, which can easily accommodate home offices and are safer than apartments, because of the lack of shared areas. With proximity to offices no longer as great a concern, people are also moving from downtown and central business district apartments, to outer suburbs, and even the rural outskirts of cities,” Shaikh points out.
This, in turn, has seen the growing demand from the UAE’s aspirational and trend-savvy buyers for the latest in classy and aesthetic fittings, which developers and consultants are aiming to meet by turning to the country’s Dh3.5 billion – and growing - fit-out industry.
Shaikh says Bianca & Bianco is witnessing a huge demand for enhanced interiors that suit homeowner’s needs, lifestyles and aspirations, especially among first home buyers.
“At the same time, investors are buying old houses, refurbishing them to conform to the new priorities of prospective buyers, and then reselling them at much higher rates. Both trends have spiked great interest in fit-outs, whether across modern tiling, or kitchen and bathroom accessories and ensembles. This is largely because of the huge impact that the products of our industry have on the ambience, lifestyle, and the way that we feel about a space,” he adds.
Bianca & Bianco offers an exclusive selection of Italian and Spanish luxury slabs, tiles, kitchen solutions and sanitary ware, carefully curated and handpicked by its team of international designers.
“Bianca and Bianco is focusing on some large and key projects right now, across both residential as well as commercial segments, where the focus is on high-quality fittings, accessories and tiling. For the residential sector, we are showcasing the personalised approach to each home refurbishment, which is our forte. We are proactively engaging with our customers, especially with the message of looking at homes as a long-term investment. We are educating customers on the benefits of choosing the most optimal products and finishes for their needs, rather than being ‘penny wise and pound foolish’, as the saying goes. Our team of designers and consultants has played a huge role in making this approach fun, accessible, and ultimately valuable, for our customers,” he adds.
In its first year of operations, Bianca and Bianco was chosen to fit out many premier residential projects, such as District 1, Sur La Mer Villas, Ellington, Dubai Select Group, Emirates Hills Villas and Dubai Hills villas, as well as high-end luxury customer villas for refurbishment in Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Hills. In addition, it has also secured high-profile commercial real estate projects, such as Urban Foods Group’s Geant supermarkets and Adidas stores etc.
The firm taps into the founding team’s 12 years of experience in flooring and slabs in the Canadian market to deliver a refined grade of materials, fabrication and detailing, while making elegant and classy interiors accessible to all.