Boutique firm Design by Mahsa has successfully delivered an Australian native restaurant, Oporto at Dubai Festival City.

The scope of design for the project included the design guideline development for all branches based on extensive market studies conducted in the GCC, as well as playing the role for interior, design, construction, and supervision. A key directive was a new and fresh interior design concept, taking into consideration local market taste in the region. The design guidelines known and used in Australia were vastly different from that which was adopted for its GCC vision. From wall finishing to layout, seating, art and ambience, the design guidelines reflect a one hundred percent representation of the local market requirements.

Oporto is widely recognised for serving sumptuous flame-grilled chicken, fiery but tasty burgers and its legendary intense flavoured sauce; with all recipes first created on Bondi Beach, Australia, is now spread across all cities within the country and for the first time in the international market.

Mahsa Gholizadeh, founder and design director at Design by Mahsa, said: “After we submitted the initial design concept to the Oporto team in Australia for the first time, it was approved for rollout in all the upcoming GCC branches of the franchise. We then developed a full-scale detailed interior design, FF &E specifications as well as the Bill of Quantities for the project. These were received by contractors, KOJ Interiors who took charge of the construction of the project. We also partnered with furniture supplier – Interior 360, fabric supplier – Squisito and our favourite paint supplier – Colortek. Dubai is a cosmopolitan city bustling with different cultures, and so I am particularly excited that for this project we successfully infused a Portuguese menu by an Australian franchise in a Middle Eastern setting through creativity and great partnerships within the local market. We were also keen on paying attention to aesthetics, the use of innovation, sustainability, and functionality in making sure that no detail was left out in bringing the upscale space to life.”

Photo credit: Ales Photography