US-based Tiffany & Co, one of the world's most famous jewellers, has opened a new regional headquarters in Dubai.
The Dubai base will oversee business development in the Middle East, Gulf Countries, East & Central Europe, Africa, Turkey and India, placing emerging markets at the centre of Tiffany's globalisation strategy.
"This occasion marks an important milestone for Tiffany & Co in the Middle East," said Laurent Cathala, Tiffany vice president of emerging markets.
"While we have enjoyed a presence here for the past 15 years, our new regional operation will be responsible for strengthening our brand representation and service levels to support the increasing purchasing power and discerning tastes of our regional customer." Laurent added in a statement.
Over the next five years Tiffany & Co plans to more than double its network of boutiques in emerging markets.
It currently has 35 stores in 15 countries throughout the region. Last week it opened its first freestanding boutique in Beirut, in association with Antoine Hakim.
"Tiffany & Co. has carefully managed its global growth by opening five to seven locations per year. Our decision to establish regional headquarters in Dubai to represent our emerging markets is the result of years of thoughtful planning," said Cathala.
According to consultancy firm Bain & Company, emerging markets will be a key contributor to the anticipated eight percent growth in worldwide luxury sales during 2011.
Since 1837, Tiffany & Co. has been synonymous with the luxury retail sector.
Worldwide, Tiffany & Co. reported higher than expected net sales and earnings growth in its first quarter ended April 30, increasing 20 percent and 26 percent respectively.
Tiffany's Dubai headquarters will become the fourth international representative office for the luxury jeweller outside the US.
Dubai was chosen "as much for its geographic location and pro-business environment as for its status as the region's fashion hub", the statement added.
Dubai now shares with London the top position as the most targeted retail destination in the world, drawing 56 percent of all international retail brands, according to property advisor CB Richard Ellis.
The UAE has also emerged as the world's second most attractive international market for retail expansion.