2017 was a busy year for Moroccan Bazaar having worked on two of the year’s biggest hotel projects in the Middle East. The Mondrian Doha in Qatar and the Anantara Al Jabal Akhdar in Oman, both received plaudits and recognition globally as two highlights of one of the most active years in the hospitality industry in the Middle East & the rest of the world.
The company is Moroccan/British manufacturers of contract Moroccan and orientalist decorative lighting and furniture offering the aesthetic accomplishment of handmade pieces but made to contract quality and the qualities expected working with lead design agencies.
Hotel News Middle East caught up with Adnan Bennani, managing director of Moroccan Bazaar to reflect on 2017 and talk about plans and projects in 2018.
Last year, you worked on some huge projects in the Middle East and Africa; Mondrian and Al Anantara to name a few. 2017 was an active year. How was it for you looking back?
Active… Yes! Haha. You can say that, for sure.
It was incredible in many ways. We worked on over 30 projects that threw everything our way. We worked on Hotels in the Middle East and Africa, a restaurant chain in the Gulf, Royal Palaces in Tangiers and even a Castle in Ireland! It was a very busy year but great fun.
Interior designer and the end clients are confident in what we produce. Doesn’t make it easier to make the pieces but it gives us great confidence in their visions and helps navigate the process.
We travelled to all corners of the world for exhibitions & shows, some in Europe and many in the Middle East & Morocco too and met some fantastic people from the trade.
All in all, I’d say we’ve learnt a lot this year. Working with the LIA for lighting standards for example has taught us so much even though we were doing really well before. We owe a lot to the many who contributed over 2017.
Tell us about Moroccan Bazaar… what is the company’s outlook and vision?
Our aim is to become the go to manufacturer of Moroccan & Orientalist decorative lighting and furniture for Contract hospitality and residential projects. There are many talented craftsmen in Morocco that can produce interior lighting and case goods but there are few who offer our capacity of output and amount of expertise & experience to deliver projects of scale under one roof. Our vision is to put Moroccan goods on the map for contract projects.
What are your core products and services for the hotel sector?
We manufacture handmade, decorative lighting and furniture at Contract quality, to contract deadlines. Although we cover lighting, furniture and home accessories such as Ben Ourain rugs from the Atlas Mountains, we ensure on projects that we source the best we can find within the time and frameworks agreed.
Since we operate our own workshops, we have two unique proportions for clients seeking Moroccan handmade pieces; 1) a catalogue of ready to order products & 2) bespoke capabilities; anything from modifications and tweaks of designs we offer to completely new realizations of designs into completely new pieces.
When was the company established?
Moroccan Bazaar started life in 1946 by way of my grandfather. He was a well-known Metals trader in the old Fez medina. He sowed the seeds of what we are today as we specialize in handmade brass lighting and furniture. It was my parents who moved to the UK in the 70s who founded the company and named it Moroccan Bazaar, they grew the company importing Moroccan arts and crafts which were of cultural interest to retailers and consumers in the UK
That all changed once we started working on end projects such as hotels. We learnt on our feet. Today we have myself, my brother, cousin, mother and Father all still working together.
And for 2018, what are your plans and projects for the New Year?
From the start we are working towards hotels in the MENA region, some huge and some more moderate in scale, but all very important. Our plan is start working in new regions that are unexplored such as the Far East & Russia.
We’ll look to invest more in our workshops and scale our productions lines. So far, our ateliers are running smoothly and so keeping them running that way is crucial to our success.
We have further expansion ideas but they will remain under wraps, for now.