S&T talks top-tier hospitality project delivery
One of the largest contracting companies in the GCC, S&T Interiors and Contracting, provides one-of-a-kind, turnkey interiors solutions, taking on an extensive range of hospitality projects throughout the region
Established in 1977 and headquartered in Oman, S&T offers a comprehensive range of products and delivers unique interiors and contracting solutions. With ambitions to establish itself as one of the top five global brands in the industry, the company operates internationally and has branches in Oman, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, the UK, France, Italy, India, Sri Lanka, and Brunei.
A team of more than 5,000 professionals and skilled craftsmen manage S&T’s broad spectrum of activities, offering a variety of world-class products and providing customers worldwide with good value without compromising on quality. The firm has taken on a host of high-profile hospitality projects, and has completed more than 150 landmark projects around the world, from palaces, luxury hotels and villas, to high-end residential and commercial complexes.
S&T specialises in interior contracts, civil construction, joinery, soft furnishings, furniture manufacturing, decorative and carved gypsum works, and specialist decorative painting. From concept to completion, the firm delivers everything from contractual products to specific projects and customised, stand-alone jobs in civil engineering, mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP), and fit-out. According to the company’s website, it strives to combine “the practical with the aesthetic, comfort with luxury, and grace with opulence”.
The website also boasts a lengthy list of previous projects, including the refurbishment of the Ritz Carlton Al Bustan Palace Hotel, Muscat; joinery fit-out works for a five-star hotel project in Turkmenistan; joinery fit-out works for the five-star Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort in Liwa, Abu Dhabi; the supply of case goods and upholstered furniture at the Ritz Carlton, DIFC, in Dubai; interior fit-out and external works at the Langham Hotel in the UK; and a partial refurbishment at the Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel in Belgium. That’s in addition to a fit-out works contract for the Dubai International Airport Project Concourse 3A and the supply of furniture for its Business Class lounge.
“Recently, S&T has undertaken the supply and installation of timber doors and joinery works for the JW Marriott, Mumbai,” adds executive director for international operations at S&T Interiors and Contracting, KS Ravikumar. He continues: “One of the major ongoing projects for S&T is the retail area fit-out for the Muscat International Airport development project. The airport expansion is the largest project to ever be undertaken in the history of Oman.”
And it doesn’t end there. In Qatar, says Ravikumar, S&T is the fit-out partner for the prestigious Mandarin Oriental in Doha, which forms part of the Msheireb Downtown Doha development. In Dubai, meanwhile, one of S&T’s largest projects is the fit-out work for Lapita Hotel, and in the UK, S&T has undertaken refurbishment works for Hotel Russell and Beaverbrook House and Spa.
S&T has a robust pipeline of interior fit-out and construction projects in Oman. Anantara Jabal Akhdar, one of S&T’s most comprehensive interior fit-out and construction works, is the firm’s latest large project to be delivered in the sultanate. Ongoing projects include food and beverage outlets, spa, and gym fit-out works for Kempinski Hotel, Al Mouj Muscat; interior fit-out works for food and beverage areas in W Hotel; a fit-out project at Salalah Airport; and the retail interior design (ID) package for Muscat International Airport.
The hospitality segment is a high priority within the context of S&T’s overall operations, as Ravikumar explains: “The hospitality segment has always been of significance for S&T. We are specialists in interior decoration works, joinery, furniture, furnishing and case goods, and provide turnkey ID solutions to luxury hospitality, prime residential, commercial sectors, palaces and high-end residences. We work collaboratively with owners, developers, international designers and consultants, [bringing] concepts to life.”
A bright outlook
With Expo 2020 Dubai and the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar looming large on the horizon, the market for hospitality fit-out projects around the GCC is currently thriving. This means that busy times are ahead for S&T, and the next few years hold great promise for the company, according to Ravikumar.
“Evidently, the growth rate for the interior fit-out market was maintained and even accelerated in 2016. At S&T Interiors and Contracting, we are anticipating good opportunities in primary markets like Oman, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar. Our projects also reflect this trend, as we are executing work at hotels in Oman, along with the retail package and wooden panelling and doors for Muscat International Airport.”
In the coming years, S&T will expand its focus when it comes to its major hospitality-related priorities, in order to successfully capitalise on the opportunities that lie ahead. Ravikumar explains that, in addition to areas of the market that have traditionally been very strong for the company, S&T will also be seeking to develop its business in newer areas, such as in the region’s booming mid-market hotel sector.
“Hospitality and luxury, or super-luxury, have been the strongest performing sectors for S&T for nearly four decades. In view of the fact that demand in the Middle East market is on the rise, we are now strategically targeting four-star and three-star hotels,” he says.
A cut above
Over the last four decades, the S&T Group has branched out into several additional business areas, to become active in sectors as varied as real estate, mining, IT, healthcare, oil and gas, FMCG,
As the flagship, S&T Interiors and Contracting promises, via its website, to reliably deliver “fewer interfaces and maximum flexibility” for customers. The company’s efforts to outperform its competition have made it a turnkey partner of choice for clients worldwide and, at its joinery facilities, quality control is closely monitored to ensure the highest levels of production.
The company’s state-of-the-art joinery manufacturing facilities, located in Venice, Italy, and in Muscat, Oman, are equipped with the latest machinery and manned by highly qualified personnel. A 600-strong workforce produces bespoke products and services, from doors, cabinetry and wall panels, to carved and marquetry embellishments, and loose and fitted furniture.
With demand for sustainable solutions gaining momentum, S&T prioritises sustainability in all its projects: “We have successfully completed a number of projects across the region with the directive to obtain sustainability accreditation through LEED. Alila Jabal Akhdar Hotel, Oman, is one [such project]. It is constructed according to LEED principles, and is the first hotel in the Sultanate of Oman to gain LEED Silver Certification,” explains Ravikumar.
“By considering sustainable aspects of the projects, we advise our clients in adopting and planning projects that will improve efficiency, suggest and source sustainable cost-effective materials, and provide value-engineering solutions.”
To provide measurable sustainable outcomes to clients, S&T goes beyond just using the right materials, he continues: “We ensure monitoring and implementing proven designs from the earliest stages, with project engineers, design execution experts, key supply chain partners, [and the] right processes and execution methodology.”
In order to give itself a competitive edge within the region’s hospitality fit-out sector, S&T backs up its proficiency by guaranteeing quality and on-time delivery, and its ethical practices define all aspects of the business.
“What sets us apart are high-quality, customised, turnkey solutions, as well as scalability, high-profile project experience, price, and timely turnaround,” says Ravikumar. “In the last four decades, S&T has perfected the art of skilled craftsmanship and, with a dedicated team of experts and in-house manufacturing capabilities, has become a one-stop solution for interior fit-out and contracting services globally.
“We work with a strong belief that customers are our partners, and actively work and collaborate with them to develop long-term business relationships,” he concludes.