Advertorial: Established in 1977 in Muscat, Oman, S&T Interiors and Contracting is one of the largest interior fit-out and contracting companies in the GCC region. The company has executed more than 150 projects in the luxury hospitality sector as well as high-end residential and commercial projects. For nearly four decades, the company has grown beyond the origins of Oman to compete on the world stage, with operations currently in the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, UK, France, Italy, India, Sri Lanka and Brunei. CID talks to KS Ravikumar, director of international operations at S&T Interiors and Contracting, about the company’s current projects and the key challenges facing the fit-out industry.
What projects have you been recently involved in?
Currently, S&T is executing six prestigious projects in Oman including: fit-out works for National Bank of Oman headquarters; complete fit-out works for Kempinski Hotel, Al Mouj; joinery fit-out works for W Hotel; interior design works for Rotana Hotel; retail package and major fit-out work for the new Muscat International Airport, and supply and installation of timber doors and joinery works for JW Marriott.
In Qatar, we are the fit-out partner for one of the most prestigious projects – the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Doha, which is part of the Msheireb Downtown Doha development. We are executing joinery fit-out work at the Park Hyatt. In Dubai, we have currently undertaken fit-out work for the Lapita Hotel.
In Europe, S&T is involved in complete structural renovation and fit-out works for The LaLit; extensive refurbishment of Hotel Russell; and also the refurbishment work of Beaverbrook House and Spa. In Asia, we are undertaking interior fit-out works for Westin Hotel, Kolkata; turnkey interior fit-out for Hotel Sheraton and Hotel RMZ Somerset, Bangalore, and interior design fit-out works for Mövenpick City Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
What challenges did they present?
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara in Abu Dhabi’s enchanting Liwa Desert was one of the most unusual projects that we proudly worked on. One of the challenges was that the wood finishes had to be given distress fort look. Our proficient team crafted timber to match the aesthetics of the fort look-alike resort. Highest quality timber had to be used in order to sustain the harsh weather conditions in the desert. The modern building was built in the centre of the desert – where there is no life for 60-70 kilometres and basic amenities, such as hospital, were deficient. Constant change in the formation of sand dunes affected the logistics and schedule of finishing the project on time.
Another project that we found most challenging and we are proud of is the Alila Jabal Akhdar resort in Oman. With the site being 4,000m above sea level, logistics such as the acclimatisation of workers became a challenge. However, with S&T’s expertise in planning and execution, this challenge was met and project was completed proficiently.
What are you most looking forward to completing?
We are looking forward to completing structural renovation and fit-out works of the architecturally significant Grade II listed property in London – The LaLit.
S&T has undertaken the refit and refurbishment of the former St Olave’s Grammar School, near London’s Tower Bridge. We have used our engineering expertise for the various complex aspects of structural works, MEP works, civil and interiors and for several factors of landscaping. One of the challenging tasks is to retain, restore or replace with ‘like for like’ many of the school’s original features; from oak panelling, cornicing, and the beautiful arched windows to skirting boards, mouldings and chimneys. Even the ornate plasterwork and panelling in the old headmaster’s study has been retained in this 70-room boutique hotel.
What trends do you identify in the interiors fit-out sector?
If we look at cities across the region, such as Dubai and Doha, the fit-out work is quite modern and contemporary with glass and metal as the most commonly used materials and incorporate flexible aesthetics. By using modern finishes such as acrylic or glass, these cities are moving away from the traditional stone and marble. Oman is a mix of both modern and classical.