Sara Mwaniki, group marketing manager at Royal Blinds, on market trends, technology, and recent experience at INDEX

Tell us something about your company and its presence in the region?
Royal Blinds, a pioneering entity wholly owned by Al Jallaf family, was established in 1989 in Dubai to manufacture all designs of blinds, curtains, tensile (flexible) shade structures, motorised retractable roof shades, special roller structures, awnings, and canopies. With 28 years of local experience in the industry, we have grown to become one of the preferred suppliers to many of the region’s leading property development companies and contractors. Apart from our in-demand products, we also provide regular consultations to highprofile architecture and design firms. The company manages 124,800sqft production unit at the Dubai Al Quoz industrial area; a branch in Abu Dhabi; and dedicated business channels in the other Gulf States. Royal Blinds is always committed to delivering above the client’s expectation. Be it a large-scale project or one-off bespoke item, we guarantee to deliver on time and at a competitive price.

Briefly describe your experience at INDEX this year?
What were your latest launches? This year’s edition of INDEX allowed us to meet under one roof thousands of international suppliers from various product sectors; further, build our industry knowledge; and gain the latest insights into the construction industry. We also engaged with potential clients and suppliers. This year, we partnered with Multifilm, a German antiglare materials manufacturer, to guarantee our successful participation. During the event, we showcased some of our top-notch products, including our sophisticated and high-quality blinds.

Classic Roman shades are ideal window treatments for both function and style

What are the top trends in terms of blinds and technologies that you see coming through in the next year or so?
The year 2019, is an exciting time in the industry. To stay ahead of the competition, many companies have begun innovating their products thanks to technology. Automation in blinds is an exciting trend, bringing user experience to the next level. Users can now adjust their blinds or even schedule their tilt positions just using their smartphones. Automated Venetian blinds, roman blinds, and roller shades are available in the market today. In terms of materials, velvet is now an in-demand fabric for blinds. They are not only cost-efficient but they are also available in various colours, textures, and sizes. Meantime, pastel and grey colour remains popular in interior decoration along with brown and gold.

What kind of materials do you work with especially in the Middle East with extreme heat and humidity?
For this region, we use blackout, a foam-backed, opaque fabric, to effectively block much of the light. We offer roller blinds with blackout treatment for UV protection, in addition to solar film blinds, which provide anti-glare from workstations, and moisture resistant window shades and blinds, which, unaffected by humidity, can be used in areas prone to moisture and splashes.

External rounded antique awning for protection from Sun and rain

Do your products have environmentally friendly qualities?
Yes. Our products have been designed to provide superior comfort, while also promoting power efficiency of up to 30 per cent. Once in use, these products have been known to help reduce your heating and cooling bills. Most types of window treatments generally result in energy savings that depend on the type of attachment and how it is used, the season, and the climate. Roller blinds with varying light penetration and curtains with films, among others, contribute to efficient energy use.

What is the current state of your business?
The industry experts have shared that the market is currently ripe, especially across the hospitality, healthcare and education sector—which are rapidly growing thus facilities are mushrooming across the emirates. The former two, in particular, have delivered profitable projects for us especially in light of Expo 2020. The ripple effect of it is an influx of orders and completion dates set for the first and second quarter of next year. The government has also been very supportive in creating policies that have greatly aided the sector. All in all, business is looking upwards for our industry.