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Middle East, challenging but promising according to Isabel Pintado

by | Nov 8, 2017 | Experts

Isabel Pintado, Senior Vice President at Wilson Associates, analyzed the different aspects of Middle East and Africa in connection with design and economic challenges at TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Dubai

One thing we love about the TOPHOTELPROJECTS World Tour is getting to meet some of the leading figures within the hotel industry. The conferences always draw an exclusive mix of industry professionals from all sectors of the hotel world, and at the most recent event that took place in Dubai on September 19th, we had the pleasure of talking to Isabel Pintado, Senior Vice President of the Middle East and Africa at Wilson Associates, a high-end interior design company that focuses on hospitality. Pintado leads the group’s Dubai studio and oversees the design direction for each project.

Pintado is clearly incredibly passionate about design, and has trouble choosing a career highlight because of the joy she takes in both the challenges and successes of designing for hospitality. Whether small or big, each project has something positive to take away from it. Personally rewarding projects have included small-scale works for charities, but large-scale hotel development and branding projects in the Middle East have also given Pintado great satisfaction.


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Pintado is based in the Middle East and as such views the challenges affecting the industry as localised, such as the rising price of oil. This has had a knock-on effect on built projects in the region, where an adjustment is needing to take place to generate income to enable continued development in the area. She cites tourism as a way that the UAE has managed to see beyond oil as a primary source of economics, as well as manufacturing, and although the UAE has made good strides in this regard, more remains to be done if investment in the area is to continue.

As far as projections for the future go, Pintado asserts that the Middle East and Africa are rife with opportunity for design and designers. However, she doesn’t see it as all plain sailing going forward and does think that the industry will face something of an uphill battle in the years to come, mainly due to the slight decline in the economy. But no doubt good things lie ahead, as Pintado seems the eternal optimist.

The next TOPHOTELPROJECTS World Tour event will be held in New York on November 15th. Following up on the popularity of the recent Dubai event, this New York affair is a can’t-miss day.





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