The Bahrain firm has met with success in the domestic market and believes it’s time to deepen its footprint abroad
Bahrain’s Grapevine has handled a wide range of interior decor services including the designing and making of artistic geospherical domes, general furniture, stage settings and wall panels.
Most of its business comes from the home market, but now the company is looking overseas to widen its income yield and influence, says Yahya Dashti, customer relations manager.
Grapevine operates out of its plant in the Salmabad area of Bahrain and creates products with the help of a CNC machine, a laser cutting machine, a waterjet machine and a plasma cutting machine. Staff includes 3D designers and work is accomplished with a spectrum of materials including steel, stainless steel, aluminium, wood and acrylic.
“Around 20 per cent of our sales value comes from the overseas market,” estimated Dashti. “In London our domes were positioned along the walkway to the Royal College of Arts. The beauty in crafting such objects lies in cutting patterns and in the way they are joined together, piece by piece. There is an intricate and delicate aspect to the work but it’s worth the time and trouble for its transformational effect.”
In Kuwait the company was commissioned to provide special décor for an event to commemorate the Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum. Grapevine worked with a partner for a project scope that Dashti said “extended from A to Z.”
Among its projects was building a studio in Bahrain for Abu Dhabi Television.
Dashti says Grapevine’s exports are on the ascendant “as people and establishments abroad are taking note of our accomplishments.” Adds the official: “There is increasing awareness of the need for beauty in settings and making décor evocative of certain sentiments. There is a marriage of style and functionality.”
While the company has bagged orders in most Gulf states, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Grapevine is keen its business grows across a wider canvas.
“We plan to take part in interiors exhibitions, beginning with Saudi Arabia and Muscat. While Saudi Arabia continues to be a substantial part of our overseas business, we’re keen we establish a foothold in Oman, the second-biggest Gulf country in area. We have done jobs on a small scale there,” said Dashti at the gulfInteriors exhibition in Bahrain.
A sizable portion of Grapevine’s income comes from the residential sector, and while apartment décor is longlasting, Dashsti considers events décor more challenging and more fulfilling as they involve the presence of large gatherings at one time and the possibility of scrutiny and discussion on a bigger scale.
One of its notable accomplishments was a stage for an event organised by the Bahrain government in Morocco and at which King Hamad, Sheikh Nasser, the king’s son, and the Minister of Culture, Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, were present.
Grapevine also delivered a stage set up at the Supreme Court in Bahrain for the King’s visit and a tent to house guests including the King himself at a National Day celebration near the Sheraton Hotel in Bahrain.
The company has undertaken jobs for members of Bahrain’s royal family on numerous occasions, says Dashti.
For Bahrain’s National Theatre, it was commissioned to perform substantial interior decoration as well as designing, preparing and installing a walkway dome in the access to the main building.
Dashti explained that these domes can sometimes be quite spacious to seat a number of people. The main motivation for installing them is that they lend an artful touch to the surroundings.
Grapevine built partitions with acrylic lenses for the recently completed Four Seasons Hotel in Bahrain and has expertise in making mashrabiyas, traditional Arabic architecture that projects windows enclosed with carved wood latticework often lined with stained glass.
It has handled interior decoration for weddings in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE – everything from wall panels to lighting to seating furniture and dance floors.
Tents for a Bahrain Cultural Festival and Ramadan gatherings at the Ritz Carlton in the kingdom were among the projects it successfully undertook in recent years.
It is currently working on a project for the Bahrain Defence Force and the Bahrain Bay Development.