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August 23, 2013


Khaleejia said: Khaleeji home interiors are considered to be ones of the most luxurious, eclectic mix of classic, traditional and contemporary styles in the Middle East and the World.  

Superb examples are to be seen in the UAE, The Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, Burj Al Arab in Dubai and many fabulous hotels that could easily each be palaces in their own right.

Amongst all this luxury it is rare to see the interiors of homes of the Khaleeji community. They are extremely particular about their privacy and in spite of being truly hospitable are unwilling to share the images of their homes with the public.

Today we have an amazing opportunity to discuss the tastes and preferences of the Khaleejis and what makes for a genuine Emirati house through the eyes of Ratna Dutta, an Interior Designer who has designed palaces for the Royal families of Dubai, Abu dhabi, Sharjah and  many VIP Clients in the UAE and Middle east.


Ratna is the Director / owner of the Élan Interior Design Studio and  two factories manufacturing  Furniture and  Curtains.  She and her team design create one of a kind Home Interiors, Furniture, Bed, Bath and Table linen, custom made in the UAE under the brand name CASA - ELAN.

Ratna invited us to her studio, to share stories of her projects and to provide tips and little secrets with Khaleejia's Life readers and everyone who is interested in classic & modern khaleeji Interior design.

We were deeply impressed by Ratna’s work and happy to share with you her story.

The story of Casa -Elan

As a young girl, Ratna was very passionate about art and crafts. A qualified Textile Designer she started her career as a Carpet Designer for retailers in Paris, UK and Germany. She then moved to Russia where she researched old weaving techniques and use of gold and silver threads to create reproduction antique fabrics for cathedrals in Russia and Rome.
Working on a hotel project, she became involved with the building process and her interior design career began.

 She came to Dubai in 1994.

With no knowledge of the Emarati culture, her talent was recognized by the director of the leading UAE group “Al Aqili'. who offered her a break. A few months later seeing her passion, extensive knowledge of textile & interior design advised her to work for herself !

She was fortunate enough to be part of the team that worked on the Design of the Emirates Towers hotel, The Dusit Thani Hotel both property of HH Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, now the Ruler of Dubai. 

Ratna has stories of times when HH would visit the site and check everything himself!

She became a prominent member of the Private Office of HH working on many of his personal projects, in the Middle East and around the world.

Creating interiors for VVIPs where budget is unlimited is an incredible experience. The library at her Design Studio is filled with treasures from around the world of luxury fabrics, wall papers, lighting, carpets and every other item that goes into making of a beautiful home.
 “I have worked with the most beautiful, expensive pieces from around  the world in my projects. This country has given me the opportunity to work on more palaces and yachts  in one year than most Designers would do in a lifetime  and I am truly blessed for it! "

Despite such big projects, it is Ratna’s clients that  have been instrumental in her success. Her popularity has grown by "word of mouth” as a Designer of Elegant Interiors who uses the best of the international trends with an understanding of the Traditional needs of the Emiratis.

The coming of the Arab spring has brought about big changes in the thinking of the Emiratis.  The younger generation of Emiratis need change frequently and want trendy looks in fashion for their homes every FEW years!

The young Emarati is well travelled and hence aware of the latest trends in decor and has a deep appreciation of beautiful things. With numerous products to choose from this gets confusing and often times people end up bringing home things that do not look as good as they did in the shop!
With a lot of money spent, the homes still do not impress!

This prompted Ratna and her team to bring in the concept of 'House Doctoring' to the UAE. They take normal homes and give them the 'WOW' factor!

Casa - Élan now offers House Doctoring/ Home Styling/  Interior Design for people that want their homes to reflect their personal tastes without breaking the bank!

An Exclusive service to Style your homes on a budget.

With support from professional Design team and the use of special one of a kind furniture and other items, Élan gives a normal home an expensive 5 star look.
Ratna sais: “I am a simple person with a big dream and hope that I can help people with the gift of design that God has given me.”

Some of the CASA -ELAN collections are displayed at Le Paon Blanc, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, where Italian classic is displayed along with Islamic and French antiques with Vintage style furniture and furnishings.

Exclusive tips from the royal interior designer Ratna Dutta "Casa Elan" on  Emirati / khaleeji home interior.
Tip 1: What do Modern Emiratis want in their homes?
1. Luxury - should look expensive
2. Should be comfortable - is not just for show but for family to use and enjoy
3. Must have a majlis for sitting and eating in the Traditional style (on the floor)

Tip 2:
What are the latest colour trends used in khaleeji home interiors?
1.    Men  - beige , brown , grey -
2.    Women - beige, white, cream
3.    Light wood colours with silver and pale gold

However the older generation of Emiratis still prefer bright colors like red, purple, blue with gold and dark wood tones.
Photo: Men's majlis colors

Ladies' Majlis:
Tip 3:Massive decoration of the ceiling:

Tip 4: Beautiful designs on the floors:

To see the range of Luxury Furniture, Curtains, Bed and Bath Linen designed by the Royal Designer, Please visit :website
For Interior Design,  all consultancy or meeting has to be 'BY APPOINTMENT ONLY' through email or calling the office Tel: +971 4 3466419.


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  3. Beautiful, don't have words to say, it's just awesome. What the designs and the luxurious interiors and decoration. The tips and the pictures are awesome and enough to create the home of your dream through interior decoration. I appreciate your work, the gathering of words and pictures.

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