Retail design group Kinnersley Kent is opening an office in Dubai this month to ‘better serve’ its Middle East clientele, says partner Mick Kent.
Kinnersley Kent partner Paul McElroy and Kent will head the office, located in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers.
The pair will split their time equally between London and Dubai, heading up a core team of four, including head of design Carla Conte. The consultancy admits Dubai has suffered more than other parts of the United Arab Emirates from the recession.
‘Opportunities in Dubai have obviously decreased and clients are taking a more cautious and conservative stance,’ admits Kent, but he maintains that opportunities are still there and ‘Dubai is very much a hub for the region’.
‘Dubai was a massive bubble and now that is gone, it leaves the serious players,’ says a group spokeswoman. Kent describes ‘difficult and challenging times to open a new office’, but believes that the Gulf is ‘still an exciting destination for retailers’.
The group’s biggest Middle East clients include Waitrose Dubai, Kidz Inc Dubai and Bateel, for which the group is designing six new cafés (pictured) and a series of confectionery boutiques.
‘British design is still very much in demand in Dubai,’ says McElroy.
The consultancy has created an Arabic identity for the new office that will launch on 14 November.