By Nihal Zaroug and Reem Tombokti.
Tripoli, 20 June 2013:
Among the home, school and office furniture on display at the Second International, . . .[restrict]Furniture, Home Textile, Housewares and Hotel Equipment Exhibition (L.I.F), the Portuguese Jetclass Furniture stand was attracting serious attention.
Jetclass certainly catches the eye with the opulence of the bedroom suite exhibited. The suite, with a price tag of over LD 140,000, is the third in a limited series. “This is the Ferrari of bedroom furniture and fittings,” Alice Amorin, from Jetclass Furniture, told the Libya Herald. “Only 20 sets have been made,” she said.
Amorin who worked on fitting out a hotel and residential complex in Tripoli pre-revolution continued: “This is a niche market product but there is demand for it in Libya.”
To those looking for luxury, Jetclass caters home furnishings with complete leather interiors, gold plated detailing and silver-trimmed finishing. However, L.I.F. has a wide range of home and office furniture for all tastes, with some exhibitors providing special offers.
Libyan Buhagiar Carpets, which currently dominates the Tripoli market with modern design carpets and traditional rugs woven in Iran, no longer sells Libyan rugs. A sales representative told the Libya Herald that rug weaving has all but been abandoned by Libyans. The traditional rugs are now mostly fabricated in neighboring Egypt or in India.
Challenges aside, Buhagiar continues to grow and has four stores in the capital, drawing customers looking for high quality Belgian manufactured carpets.
Maan for School and Office fFittings has been regularly supplying private schools with modern desks and state-of-the-art boards since the end of the revolution. Originally, Maan sold stationary items only but after seeing an unmeet demand for school gear, the owner decided to expand his operation to include furniture sales.
“There has been little motivation for the government to renovate classroom interiors with the products we offer”, noted sales representative Ahmed Ahmid.
“However, the increase in the number of private day care centres and primary schools in particular, has made classroom size and equipment a competitive advantage, and are major factors for parents looking for the best option for their children’s education.”
For Ahmid, the change in perspective of schools owners is “positive, as it reflects the needs of students to be properly educated and in suitable environments.”
Maan is partnered with Turkish Ege Dizayn, and has recently fitted a lecture hall at Tripoli University. “This is the first time we have a local partner,” Bekir Ogul, the export manager at Ege Dizayn, told the Libya Herald. “Fitting a lecture hall at the University of Tripoli is our first big business in Libya,” Ogul added.
The fair started 17 June and ends today at the Tripoli International Fair . [/restrict]