With large-scale projects spanning 14 countries, Oman-based S&T Interiors and Contracting Company is prepared to make a major march into the three and four-star hotel market.
Despite lower oil prices and the current geopolitical situation, which influence the GCC’s hospitality industry, most experts remain optimistic that the region is poised to experience further growth. As new developments come along ahead of Expo 2020 in Dubai and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the positive upturn in the GCC hospitality sector spells an opportunity for interiors and fit-out contracts on fresh projects and also for hotel refurbishment.
The figures from the latest GCC Building, Construction and Interiors Market report by Ventures ME show the GCC interiors and fit-out spend in the hotel sector is expected to increase from $892m in 2015 to $1.8bn by the end of this year. As expected, the report shows that the UAE is projected to spend the most in 2016, followed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain respectively.
With these figures in mind, K.S. Ravikumar, executive director of international operations at S&T Interiors and Contracting company is also anticipating good opportunities in its primary markets – Oman, the UAE and Qatar.
“At S&T, our projects reflect this trend, as we are executing work at hotels in Oman along with the retail package and wooden panelling and doors for Muscat International Airport,” says Ravikumar. “We have recently undertaken food and beverage outlets, spa and gym fit-out works for Kempinski Hotel, Al Mouj Muscat; supply and installation of interior design works for Rotana Hotel in Muscat; interior fit-out works for food and beverage areas for W Hotel; and supply and installation of timber doors and joinery works for JW Marriott Mumbai.”
Headquartered in Oman, S&T has been operating for nearly four decades across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa, offering a range of products, including interior fit-out, general contracting and project supplies.
Commenting on the key challenges facing his industry today, Ravikumar says: “Skilled labour and expertise is a prime challenge and an obstacle facing the market. A company with qualified employees has various advantages like a flexible workforce, decreased labour costs, efficiency in planning and employee satisfaction.”
From interior fit-out for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Doha, Qatar and Mövenpick City Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka to the refurbishment of the Al Bustan Palace in Muscat, S&T’s current portfolio spans 14 countries and includes more than 150 executed landmark projects. However, the company is also looking to expand its operations to other markets across the world.
Ravikumar continues: “Being a global company and pursuing a truly global strategy, markets like Oman, the UAE, Qatar, the UK, India and Sri Lanka will remain important for us.”