How Arabic Culture Affected The Furniture Choice in UAE

Furniture plays a vital role in interior design, shaping the overall aesthetics and ambiance of a space. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a country known for its rich cultural heritage, the integration of culture into furniture interior design is a prominent aspect. This article explores the influence of UAE’s diverse culture on furniture interior design, highlighting the fusion of traditional and contemporary elements that create unique and captivating spaces.


The UAE is a country known for its vibrant blend of cultures and traditions. The rich tapestry of Emirati culture, influenced by Arab, Islamic, and Bedouin heritage, serves as a constant source of inspiration for furniture interior design. By incorporating elements from the past and embracing contemporary approaches, designers in the UAE create spaces that reflect the nation’s identity while embracing global design trends.

The Influence of UAE Culture on Furniture Design

Traditional Arabic Influence

Traditional Arabic design elements play a significant role in shaping furniture interior design in the UAE. Arabesque patterns, intricate woodwork, and geometric motifs are commonly used in furniture pieces. The ornate detailing adds a touch of elegance and captures the essence of Arabic aesthetics.

Islamic Art and Architecture

Islamic art and architecture have a profound influence on furniture design in the UAE. The intricate geometric patterns and arabesque motifs found in mosques and palaces inspire designers to incorporate similar elements into their creations. Furniture with intricate carvings, Islamic arches, and motifs such as the eight-pointed star can be seen, creating a sense of harmony and reverence in the space.

Bedouin Culture and Nomadic Influences

The nomadic lifestyle of the Bedouin people has also left its mark on furniture interior design in the UAE. The use of natural materials like woven palm leaves, camel leather, and goat hair adds a rustic charm to the furniture. Traditional Bedouin tents, known as “Bait Al Sha’ar,” have inspired the design of comfortable seating arrangements that exude a sense of hospitality and warmth.

Emirati Heritage and Crafts

Emirati heritage and crafts play a vital role in preserving the cultural identity of the UAE. Furniture designers often collaborate with local artisans who excel in traditional crafts such as Sadu weaving, pottery, and metalwork. These handcrafted elements add authenticity and uniqueness to furniture pieces, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Contemporary Approaches in UAE Furniture Design

Modern Minimalism

In addition to traditional influences, UAE furniture design embraces modern minimalism. Clean lines, sleek forms, and a focus on functionality characterize this approach. By incorporating minimalist elements, designers create a balance between tradition and contemporary aesthetics, allowing the cultural elements to shine through in a subtle yet impactful manner.

Eclectic Fusion

Eclectic fusion is another popular approach in UAE furniture design. It involves combining diverse styles, materials, and textures to create a harmonious blend. By merging traditional Emirati elements with global design influences, designers produce captivating and visually engaging furniture pieces that tell a unique story.

Sustainability and Natural Materials

With a growing emphasis on sustainability, UAE furniture designers are increasingly using natural and eco-friendly materials. Wood from sustainable sources, organic fabrics, and recycled materials are favored choices. This eco-conscious approach not only aligns with global environmental concerns but also pays homage to the UAE’s natural landscapes and resources.

Embracing Technological Advancements

The UAE is renowned for its technological advancements and forward-thinking mindset. Furniture interior design incorporates cutting-edge technologies such as smart furniture, integrated lighting systems, and automated features. These technological elements seamlessly merge with the cultural aspects, creating innovative and functional spaces.

Integrating Cultural Elements into Interior Design

Colors and Patterns

Colors and patterns play a significant role in integrating culture into interior design. Warm earth tones inspired by the desert landscape, vibrant hues reminiscent of traditional textiles, and bold contrasts found in Arabic calligraphy are commonly used. These colors and patterns evoke a sense of heritage and create a visually captivating environment.

Traditional Textiles and Embroidery

Traditional textiles and embroidery have a distinct place in Emirati culture. Incorporating elements like Sadu weaving, which features geometric patterns in vibrant colors, or intricate embroidery work on cushions and curtains adds a touch of authenticity to the interior design. These textiles not only serve as decorative elements but also connect the space with Emirati traditions.

Calligraphy and Arabesque Designs

Calligraphy, with its intricate and artistic writing style, holds great cultural significance in the UAE. By incorporating calligraphic art or Arabesque designs into furniture, designers infuse a sense of elegance and spirituality. These elements often adorn walls, screens, or furniture surfaces, serving as focal points and adding a unique touch to the overall design.

Handcrafted Artifacts and Furniture Pieces

Handcrafted artifacts and furniture pieces serve as an embodiment of Emirati craftsmanship and heritage. Incorporating these unique pieces into the interior design not only showcases the skill and artistry of local artisans but also adds a sense of history and authenticity. From ornate chandeliers to intricately carved coffee tables, these artifacts become conversation starters and focal points within the space.

Showcasing Emirati Identity in Interior Design

Majlis: The Heart of Emirati Hospitality

The majlis, a traditional Emirati gathering space, holds great cultural significance. It serves as a place for socializing, receiving guests, and conducting important discussions. In interior design, creating a designated majlis area with comfortable seating, traditional floor cushions, and decorative elements like Arabic coffee sets and incense burners helps capture the essence of Emirati hospitality and creates a welcoming atmosphere.

Emirati-inspired Decorative Elements

Incorporating Emirati-inspired decorative elements throughout the space further enhances the cultural identity. This can include wall art featuring Emirati landscapes, traditional pottery, and decorative screens with intricate patterns. These elements not only add visual interest but also evoke a sense of pride in Emirati heritage.

Traditional Arabic Seating

Traditional Arabic seating, such as floor cushions and low sofas, adds a unique touch to the interior design. These seating arrangements encourage a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, reflecting the Emirati culture of gathering and socializing. Placing these seating options in designated areas, such as near a window or around a coffee table, creates cozy and inviting spaces.

Cultural Significance of Lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in setting the ambiance and mood of a space. In Emirati interior design, lighting holds cultural significance. Incorporating traditional lanterns, known as “fanous,” or intricate chandeliers inspired by Islamic geometric patterns adds a touch of grandeur and elegance. Soft, warm lighting creates a cozy atmosphere, while dimmable options allow for versatility in different settings.

Striking a Balance: Blending Tradition and Modernity

Harmonizing Traditional and Contemporary Furniture

Achieving a harmonious balance between traditional and contemporary furniture is key in UAE interior design. By combining elements from both worlds, designers create spaces that reflect the heritage while embracing modern sensibilities. This could involve pairing a traditional Arabic-inspired coffee table with sleek, modern sofas or incorporating traditional patterns into contemporary upholstery.

Creating a Sense of Place

A successful interior design in the UAE is one that captures the essence of the region. Incorporating elements like local artwork, traditional crafts, or cultural artifacts creates a sense of place and establishes a strong connection to Emirati culture. This creates a unique and memorable experience for residents and visitors alike.

Incorporating Cultural Symbolism

Symbolism plays an important role in Emirati culture. By incorporating cultural symbols into interior design, designers evoke emotions and narratives. This could include using the palm tree motif, which symbolizes resilience and hospitality, or incorporating motifs inspired by the falcon, a symbol of power and prestige. These symbols create a deeper connection with the culture and enrich the overall design.

Showcasing UAE’s Multiculturalism

The UAE is a melting pot of diverse cultures, and interior design can reflect this multiculturalism. By incorporating design elements inspired by other cultures present in the UAE, such as Indian, Persian, or African influences, designers create spaces that celebrate diversity and inclusivity. This fusion of cultures adds depth and richness to the interior design.


Culture plays a pivotal role in furniture interior design in the UAE. By drawing inspiration from traditional Arabic, Islamic, and Bedouin influences, designers create spaces that reflect the nation’s rich cultural heritage. Through a careful blend of tradition and modernity, Emirati identity is showcased, and unique and captivating interiors are brought to life.


How can I incorporate Emirati culture into my home’s interior design?

You can incorporate Emirati culture into your home’s interior design by using traditional Arabic patterns, colors, and motifs, incorporating handcrafted Emirati artifacts and furniture pieces, and creating a designated majlis area for socializing and hospitality.

What are some popular materials used in UAE furniture design?

Popular materials used in UAE furniture design include wood from sustainable sources, organic fabrics, woven palm leaves, camel leather, and goat hair.

Can I mix Emirati furniture with other design styles?

Yes, you can mix Emirati furniture with other design styles. Striking a balance between Emirati elements and contemporary or international design aesthetics can create a unique and visually appealing interior.

Are there any specific color schemes associated with Emirati interior design?

Emirati interior design often features warm earth tones inspired by the desert landscape, vibrant hues found in traditional textiles, and bold contrasts influenced by Arabic calligraphy.

How can I find authentic Emirati furniture pieces?

You can find authentic Emirati furniture pieces by exploring local markets, collaborating with local artisans, or visiting specialized stores that focus on Emirati craftsmanship and heritage.