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One of the most common problems and headaches in Dubai whilst completing any fit-out project is when things don’t go according to plan and they start getting out of control. Well firstly things don’t go according to plan is that most people fail to have a plan in the first place! Even if they do have a plan they aren’t too sure what should the plan include or they have missed crucial things at critical times.

There is a golden saying “The best way to fix a problem is to not have the problem in the first place”. Basically if we invest some was some extra focus and attention before any fit out project it might be worthwhile. Here are some common mistakes in fit out in Dubai that you will want to avoid before your next project:

1. Not having a defined Scope: Every project should have a defined scope. It should have a clear brief on the actual requirements and the purpose it is supposed to achieve. Being able to think on the feet is a good thing but making up a scope along you go is a no-no.

2. Not having thought about Space Planning: Many fit out projects never give enough emphasis on space planning, It is always advisable to understand what the space is looking to achieve from a functional and aesthetic purpose before actual onsite works have begun. Else it becomes hard t retract or undo certain elements of construction without loss of time and money.

3. Not engaging a Professional: The biggest mistake perhaps of any project is definitely not hiring professional fit out contractors. You are more likely to get a better outcome by hiring a professional who is skilled and experienced and has the right credentials and qualifications.

4. Having a misleading Budget: This is one of the most cardinal sins. A lot of projects either fail or become troublesome by not having an accurate and realistic budget. Make sure the budget for the project is in line with what is expected. It’s good to be cost-effective but having a misleading budget will lead into cutting corners and quality. Something you want to avoid.

5. Having an Inaccurate Timeline: A high number of bad fit out jobs are due to time constraints. Whether the project wasn’t approved on time, approvals didn’t come through or the resources weren’t available or there was a lack of funds. Sometimes people are just lazy to get started as well. All these reasons contribute to a delay in completion which, resulting in loss of money whether it is extended rent or having to hire more resources or delays in opening the business.

6. Assuming all contractors are the same: Often people assume that all fit out contractors in Dubai are the same, have the same skills and expertise and are experienced in similar projects but this is far from the truth. Although there might be a few contractors who are versatile, always choose someone who is specialised in their field. Things tend to go wrong when there is a lack of expertise.

7. Assuming you don’t need shop drawings or landlord approvals: One of the common delays in fit out projects in Dubai is the assumption that the renovations or the constructions do not need shop drawings for either the building or landlord approvals. Whilst this might be true in the odd case, it is always smart to obtain appropriate approvals from the relevant authorities. This will definitely save you time and money.

8. Not being on top of Things: Lastly fit out projects can fail if there is a lack of communication and lack of focus. Make sure you are aware of all progress. You want to know if things are going well and especially if things aren’t going too well so they can fixed and resolved. Once you are on top of everything you will avoid nasty surprises and breakdown in communication and will be in control of your project.

Be thoughtful and plan well ahead of your next project. Don’t miss out on anything critical and ensure you are on top of things.



Mel is a successful Interior Design Director from Melbourne, Australia, working in Dubai. She has over 15 years of experience in the design industry working for successful design practices in the Asia Pacific market places. Her other major interests include photography, travelling and loves to try out new cuisines.

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