Bridging Talent & Identity: Meet the Middle East’s Youngest Interior Designers Creating Timeless Artworks

Interior designers are artists that use a diverse set of talents and technical knowledge to create spaces that anticipate our requirements and appeal to our emotions. It is now a job that, if anything, necessitates inventiveness and the ability to see art from various angles. Therefore, the important question is: does the Middle East birth good interior designers? Yes, absolutely. Young interior designers live in the region, and they want to use their identities to produce designs that are more appealing to younger generations. To know more about them, let’s take a closer look at those designers as we learn more about their designs and, more importantly, their stories and inspirations.

Fatma El Feki

Fatma El Feki, a Dubai-based interior designer, was nominated for Young Interior Designer of the Year back in 2020 for the Commercial Interior Design (CID) Award, less than five years after graduating from the American University of Sharjah’s (AUS) College of Architecture, Art, and Design (CAAD). Additionally, she was recognized for her work as a member of the highly acclaimed boutique firm Roar, founded and directed by AUS graduate Pallavi Dean, on notable commercial projects such as offices for Gastronomica and the Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park.


“I was involved in the design process from concept to completion on these projects.” It is critical to have a strong notion or idea, but it is as critical to be able to put these concepts into action. During an interview with The American University of Sharjah, El Feki said, “With Roar, I’ve learned how to turn a solid concept into a finished piece.”

Marco Maximus

Marco Maximus was born in Cairo, Egypt, and is an architect and interior designer who also enjoys photography and art. He studied architecture in Cairo before going to Dubai to work as a professional architect and interior designer on projects throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). He worked on high-end hospitality projects in Dubai, such as the Bellagio on The Island, before joining Kristina Zanic Consultants as an interior designer in 2019. He collaborated with hospitality design directors Justin Condon and Lara El Hani as well.

Maximus garnered recognition and respect as a result of his work on the Ritz-Carlton Montenegro and the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Cyprus, as well as refurbishment projects at Movenpick Al Turaif, Sofitel JBR, and Sheraton Abu Dhabi. His award-winning project Eco-nnect was stunning in 2018 since it combined several components. Maximus was inspired by the thought that we spend the most time in the bathroom when we take baths, yet with the fast pace of life, we can’t get detached. People will be able to stay connected while taking baths thanks to Eco-nnect. Any smart device can be connected to Eco-nnect by wifi or wireless docking. Do you want to learn more about it? Take a look at the main design!

Marah Balash

Balash’s specialties include not only bringing ideas to life and designing rooms, but also decorating and blending colors, lighting, and materials to produce high-end aesthetics. With a bachelor’s degree in interior design from the American University of Sharjah, Balash was well prepared to enter the professional field of design right away, working on large-scale and prestigious projects such as the 500-bed Zayed Military Hospital, where she was appointed by AE7 consultants as the project’s Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment (FF&E) designer.

“Throughout my 15 years as a designer in Dubai, I have yet to see a young designer as fast a learner and confidence as Marah,” says Veena Kanchan, founder and design director of VS Design Studio told Commercial Interior Design.

Rosha Ehsan

Gastronomica Middle East’s Senior Interior Designer, Rosha Ehsan, is in charge of overseeing and developing important hospitality concepts in the GCC region. She was previously the lead interior designer at Creneau International Middle East, where she oversaw hotel, food, and beverage, corporate, and residential projects from start to finish for customers like Rotana, Nakheel, Abudhabi Power Corporation, Radisson, Arenco, and others. This passionate and creative individual holds a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design and is pursuing a Master of Science in Construction Project Management from Heriot-Watt University in the United Kingdom.

She has continuously demonstrated a strong desire to make a name for herself in a short period of time, and she has a track record of creating exceptional designs in difficult situations, balancing all parties’ goals with tight deadlines and budgets. Meraas, Al Futtaim, Landmark Group, and JLL Mena have all praised her award-winning work and design approach, which is informed by sustainability, adaptability, creativity, futuristic design, and research.

Zoubeida Chtiba

Chtiba grew fascinated with interior design after completing her studies, specifically a master’s in interior architecture, and is now working on freelancing projects to expand her portfolio and pursue a larger opportunity. She favors design techniques that make use of little elements to draw attention and make a statement about the overall design.

Warm colors and colossal mirrors are what the Tunisian interior designer excels at. Her fresh, uncomplicated style can brighten and relax any space. Additionally, Chtiba believes that It is best to choose an original style in order to attract customers. Panels and greenery adorn the interior. By choosing an appealing decoration, you may better grab customers’ attention while also providing them with a unique and welcoming environment.

Abdelaziz Raouf

Abdelaziz Raouf, MUD Studio’s architect, and managing partner spoke with us exclusively about what makes his career at MUD Studio special, as well as the methodology behind the designs. Raouf discussed how important the client’s identity is to them, and how they attempt to produce more than simply a design, but a story and a representation of that identity. All of this is combined with modernism and authenticity as they develop projects that appeal to younger generations. MUD Studio, for instance, previously worked on a beauty shop in El Korba, Heliopolis. Consequently, they saw that the salon’s design complements El Korba’s spectacular building, and they decided not to replace it altogether in order to preserve the salon’s identity. With that being said, they added a touch of modernity while maintaining its authentic style, because people were familiar with the salon’s design and they didn’t want to confuse them by adding additional art.


Raouf also spoke to us about how people in Egypt are producing interior designs that do not reflect our Egyptian taste and rely too heavily on overseas influences. Raouf’s designs aim to retain the Egyptian style while also contributing to the preservation of our Egyptian history. Why? Because then the design is one-of-a-kind and cannot be duplicated anywhere else on the planet.

As you can see, there is an abundance of talent within the region that never ceases inspiring generations to develop designs that tell a story while portraying and intertwining both the client and the designer’s personalities.

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