By Elizabeth Broomhall
Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons is continuing to grow its portfolio with more than 50 stores in the UAE
Dubai-based watch retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons has opened a second outlet in the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel, tapping further into the growing luxury retail market.
The family business, which acts as a joint venture partner to global brands such as Rolex, Chanel, Bovet, Hublot and Harry Winston, now has more than 50 stores around the UAE, all of which are situated in prime locations.
As well as acting as a silent partner for foreign firms and their boutique stores, the company also has a number of its own multi-brand outlets which sell a range of different collections.
The new opening, which is a multi-brand store, is part of a wider expansion programme for the firm, which specialises in the sale of luxury Swiss timepieces.
“Our latest retail outlet greatly compliments and adds significant value to the Burj Al Arab retail zone,” a spokesperson for the 60 year-old corporation told Arabian Business.
He added that the firm was optimistic about store profits, it having been designed and stocked to meet the specific needs of Burj Al Arab clientele.
Asked why the company chose the sail-shaped hotel as a location, the spokesperson said: “Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons already has a Chopard boutique at the Burj Al Arab, which is doing exceptionally well.
“We felt there was a need for a high-end, multi-brand shop.”
The new Burj outlet is one of two new store openings this year, 2011 also seeing the opening of a Patek Philippe shop within the Mall of the Emirates.
The retailer, which claims to be optimistic about 2011 and 2012, said it is still predominantly focusing on the watch market, but is also selling jewellery collections for brands such as Piaget and Harry Winston which are tapping into this growing market.
The value of luxury Swiss watches exported to the UAE increased by a quarter in the first half of 2010, from CHF224.5m ($211.90m) to CHF278.4m ($262.78m) according to figures from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FSWI).
After a recession-induced slump, the Middle East is now proving to be a strong performer in the sale of luxury products, with 30 percent of luxury boutiques to open worldwide forecast to 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 region.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.