CID – Rethinking Hospitality: Is Sustainability in FF&E Design a Luxury or a Responsibility?

Medhat Maher, studio director at DiLeonardo International, discusses the inseparability of sustainability from modern hospitality design. “I do not think they should walk apart. I think they should be always linked together,” Maher emphasizes, highlighting the importance of community support and research in the design process.

Maher notes the evolution of traveler expectations, where contemporary travelers seek more than luxurious amenities; they want experiences enriched with art, culture, and sustainability. “90% of the new travelers are seeking for new trends to explore… They wanted to see art, culture, and sustainability,” he states. Maher also touches on the economic benefits of sustainable design, highlighting that sustainable practices are no longer significantly more costly than conventional methods. “The sustainable products or systems are almost the same systems everyone is using nowadays. So achieving sustainability is now no longer a challenge,” he asserts. Concluding his discussion, Maher points out the proactive role of sustainable consultants in Saudi projects, ensuring sustainability is integrated from the start. “They have great regulations and great systems that once you start to look at it and follow it, your project will be sustainable,” he states, reinforcing the importance of embedding sustainability early in the design process to avoid costly adjustments later.

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FF&E Talks with NGC Nafees: Rethinking Hospitality