Officina Italiana Design the new territories of the Middle East
Officina Italiana Design explores the new territories of the Middle East
The Officina Italiana Design studio, which exclusively designs the entire Riva range, recently selected Dubai as an Opportunity District to explore new horizons. Over the last year or so, Officina Italiana Design co-founders Mauro Micheli and Sergio Beretta have been spending extended stretches of time in the United Arab Emirates’ city, building up new relationships and enjoying a first-hand experience of the changes currently sweeping what is now the main East-West crossroads.
“We have always striven to embrace new stimuli, and travel and art are our main source of new ideas and insights,” declared Sergio Beretta. “At a very complicated time like this with the pandemic still going on and the very serious international situation, travel has not always been simple: that’s why we focused on Dubai. We saw the city as a real powerhouse of ideas. Thanks to meticulous compliance with the Covid regulations, the recovery here, where different cultures meet and interact on a daily basis, has been much faster. We have witnessed a change in Dubai that gives great freedom to our creativity. Dubai as a city symbolises the United Arab Emirates where the motto is ‘If you can dream it, you can make it’. We think all of this is very positive, particularly in this Annus Mirabilis in which we are celebrating Riva’s180th anniversary, 25 years since the launch of the Acquariva and 60 since the launch of the Aquarama as well as Carlo Riva’s centenary!”.
It genuinely feels like anything is possible in Dubai right now and a slew of exciting new initiatives are making waves there. First and foremost of these is Expo 2020, which has the very significant theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” and is attracting millions of visitors. Dubai International Airport is the world’s second busiest hub and the local tourist board is now relaunching the city’s image by presenting it to the world as the capital of firsts and technology as well as the new cradle of Arabic culture.
“It’s a city where you can even think about living in the world’s tallest skyscraper (820m), the legendary Burj Khalifa,” says Beretta, “It has also just officially opened the Dubai Harbour Marina, with 1,100 berths for yachts of up to 160 metres, that will also host the next Dubai International Boat Show”.
The region is one of the biggest markets for yachts of over 40 metres (which themselves account for 13 per cent of the world fleet). According to the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBA), the area has contributed to the overall growth of the high-end nautical market to the tune of 7%.
“Made in Italy is particularly popular in Dubai and there are many Riva owners and enthusiasts there too,” continues Mauro Micheli, “It’s a world interested in large yachts, a segment we are focusing on with the Riva Superyacht Division. We are making interesting new contacts and it is great to see this momentum at first-hand after such a long period of lockdowns and stasis”.
“The Riva 130’ Bellissima, which was just presented at the Miami Boat Show, is the latest confirmation of Riva’s ambition to make its mark on the megayacht sector: after the success of the 110’ Dolcevita, it was a natural evolution in terms of comfort,” adds Beretta.
“The 130’ Bellissima has a light, dynamic exterior design characterised by certain key elements that are the new Riva styling cues debuted on the Dolceriva, a big success in 2019, and then used again on the larger yachts that followed,” commented Micheli, “The Riva 130’ is designed for owners who like the freshness of Riva’s timeless lines which are still anchored in its century-plus tradition in terms of aesthetic-functional quality”.
An aesthetic that remains principally inspired by art, of which both Micheli and Beretta are connoisseurs and collectors. “There isn’t a single Officina Italiana Design project that doesn’t epitomise the meticulous pursuit of the perfect balance of lines and forms,” says Micheli, “It’s a constant pursuit for us and we fuel the fire by visiting art exhibitions and galleries”.
Quality public and private art hubs are being developed in Dubai too and Art Dubai (a fair that this year coincides with the Boat Show between March 10th and 12th) is contributing to this momentum, thanks to farsighted focus on the various stakeholders, from exhibitors to collectors.