Re-upholstering rather than replacing is very eco-chic and is a great way to customise a piece of furniture you love.
When it comes to fabric selection, it's easy to get carried away with the look and feel of the material but you also need to consider how much wear and tear it will receive. Most fabrics undergo an abrasion or rub test to check their durability. Curtain fabrics generally have a rub test number that ranges from 11,000 to 20,000 and domestic upholstery fabrics are typically between 21,000 and 40,000. The higher the score the more suitable the fabric is for heavy usage.
Your fabric supplier can provide you with this information. You should also check that your fabric meets fire safety standards and consider stain retardant treatments.
Happily, there's no shortage of reputable fabric suppliers in the UAE - Rubelli Sahco, Maison D'Arte, Zimmer+Rohde and even Ikea have a good range. Deciding between solid coloured or patterned fabric comes down to taste but, in general, textured and patterned fabrics are more forgiving on stains.