Muscat: Quality has become a priority for Omani residents while buying building materials as a turnaround is expected in the construction sector in Oman next year, exhibitors at The Home and Building Exhibition said.
Building materials, such as Italian marbles and tiles, which cost nearly double when compared with similar products from other countries have witnessed growing interest from buyers. Experts believe it is due to the increase in awareness of upsides of quality products.
“Less than five years ago if you saw the customers coming to us, they were more interested in costs, but now they realise the benefits of the quality we offer. While our products initially cost nearly twice as products from countries, such as like China and India, we offer 20 years of warranty on our products. So by the end of the twenty years where a person has had no costs for refurbishment work, they cost nearly the same. I think this slowdown in market has made people more aware of quality,” says Caterina Carannante, partner and general manager at Italian-Omani firm Tricolore International that imports and distributes authentic Italian building and interior design products.
Although the market has been slow in the last few years, Carannante said Tricolore is expecting the market to recover next year.
“With that hope we are planning to open our showroom for retail customers in January. It may look too optimistic, but we have done our research and we expect the market to recover soon. We have done several projects for commercial but private projects remain our main area of operations. We expect to provide a more personal experience to our customers with this showroom.”
According to Mohammed al Balushi, a visitor at the exhibition, quality matters especially when building your own house.
“When you build your own house, every stone must replicate your love for the house. My father used Italian marble in our family house because we had to stay in it. You must have the best for your house and be carefree about it. Other products sometimes don’t offer such a good long term deal,” he said.
Real Estate giants Cluttons said in a recent report that the real-estate market may be on path of recovery in 2018, citing projects in Khazzan, Duqm and Sohar, as catalysts in this growth. The building materials market will be expecting a major boost due to this recovery.
“The home building market has been growing slowly in the past couple of years, but we are expecting next year to be much better as the economy grows. Construction material market will be the biggest winner in this as we will see more activity soon. But we have to wait and watch the developments,” Maaz Firdous, consultant at Al Iskaan Consultants said.
According to EG Madhu, marketing manager at Decorstone Oman, the market has seen a drop of up to 40 per cent in building material activities.
“The only way out of this is when the economy improves and we are expecting this to happen in 2018,” he said.