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Thu 2 Dec 2010 06:05 PM

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Bahrain sales of luxury watches up 230% in October

Sales are also up 430.7 percent year-on-year compared to October 2008

Bahrain sales of luxury watches up 230% in October
LUXURY WATCH: Sales of luxury watches in Bahrain surged 230% y/y in October, while the global average was 20.7% (Getty Images)

Sales of luxury watches in Bahrain surged 230 percent year-on-year in October, while the global average was 20.7 percent, according to data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

The latest monthly bulletin from the Swiss organisation showed that sales of luxury Swiss watches in Bahrain amounted to $13m in October 2010, compared to around $4m in October last year.

This represents a year-on-year growth rate of 230.4 percent and sales were up 430.7 percent compared to October 2008.

Across the region, other countries were also showing high double digit year-on-year growths for the month. The UAE was up 24.5 percent, Saudi Arabia surged 63.7 percent, Oman rose 67.1 percent, Qatar pushed ahead 11.6 percent and Iran grew 96.8 percent.

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FSWI) represents manufacturers in 30 countries and the average growth in sales year-on-year across the globe was 20.7 percent.

Bahrain and Iran had the highest growth rates across the 30 member countries, while some Italy, Singapore and Taiwan registered declines of 20.3, 10.6 and eight percent respectively.

Recent research is showing that the luxury goods market is bouncing back and making a recovery and global luxury sales are likely to grow four per cent this year, according to the research company Bain and Company’s latest update of its Luxury Goods Worldwide Market study.

Last year, sales of luxury products dropped by eight per cent to $199bn, however the first half of this year has seen sales bounce back by up to ten percent and the market is expected to grow to €205bn by the end of the year.

The Middle East is also proving to be a strong performer and 30 percent of the luxury boutiques that are forecast to open worldwide will be in the Gulf. The turnaround in the Gulf’s luxury watch market has led international designers and manufacturers to increase their focus on the market.

“Over the last 30 years the main focus has been Europe and the US and now we are really focusing on generating business in the Middle East,” said Luke Suter, sales manager at luxury Swiss watchmaker Fortis, which is a member of FSWI and in May launched an Arabic style wrist watch aimed at the Middle East market.

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