INDEX, the Middle East and North Africa’s largest and longest established Interiors and Design Exhibition, is the most popular platform for interior industry members to showcase their products and services. The event serves as an opportunity for participants to meet and discuss the future of design in the region.
As during the past ten years, the only marble design company participating in the exhibition is the Sharja-based Rasheed Al Hallak Marble Cutting & Scratch SHJ (RHM). The company specializes in marble design and manufacturing, supplying and fixing of marble tiles, decorative marbles and stone blocks.
The owner, Mr. Rasheed Hallak, spoke to Dubai Chronicle right ahead of the exhibition. He said: “Our highly qualified specialized staff can transform cold blocks of stone into warm, shapely and inspiring work of arts, that are objects of envy to the eye. We are known as one of the leading suppliers of marble tiles, fountains, columns, fireplaces, balustrades, handrails, table bases and table lamps. We are fully equipped for virtually all kinds marble design, from hand engraving to artistic works with stones. Some of the most prestigious jobs in the UAE were conducted by us, and we take real pride in the outcome!”
Q.: Please tell us why Rasheed Al Hallak Marble is the only company from the field to participate in INDEX this year?
A.: I guess, we deserve it! Well, we have been in the UAE since 26 years, and lots of individuals and companies know us personally for our high quality of marble design works. My name stands behind the quality of our work, and this is a guarantee for our customers.
Q.: Do you have many competitors regionally and worldwide?
A.: Off course, there is a completion! Nevertheless, regionally, I can’t point more than a handful of companies that can do the same work as we do. Many marble suppliers have the material, but they do not possess the equipment and skills needed to design marble. It is a hard job and often performed in even harder conditions. On an international level, I think that Lebanese and Italian companies are very good.
Q.: What are the latest projects you have completed?
A.: We have just completed a palace in Abu Dhabi, for one of His Highnesses, but I prefer not to mention exact names. In the public domain, the latest projects in which my company has participated are the interior decorations of the BITEWARE Technology offices and Diablo night club at the Gate hotel in Dubai. The most recent high-end commercial projects we have completed are the interior decoration of a prestigious 139th floor Burj Khalifa office for PPI Construction and Engineering and floor fixing of semi precious stones for Wattan Trading, the sole agent of the Italian company – Amazing Stone.
Q.: How the financial crisis has affected your business?
A.: Honestly, I feel lucky! Many friends and small competitors are already out of business. It was really hard in 2008 and 2009 to secure new contracts, but since then things are getting better. We have reduced our staff by half and moved the factory to cheaper premises. Now, I am optimistic, and it seems to me business is gradually returning to normal.
Q.: What are your expectations ahead of INDEX?
A.: I visited GITEX last week, and therefore, I am pretty exited about INDEX. The feeling of success is returning to Dubai! The exhibition will showcase the latest in design and architecture, and we will have the opportunity to be some of the first to experience it all. It will be exiting to see new innovative technologies, to meet prospective clients and many colleagues.