By Gregory Delhaye
As luxury brands brace themselves for another challenging year, Grégory Delhaye believes that the UAE is in an excellent position to buck the downward trend
Despite suggestions to the contrary, the demand for luxury products and services was continuously rising in the UAE in 2016, albeit at a slower pace. This proves that there is a growth of wealthy and ultra-rich consumers; key potential customers of the luxury segment, which is a contributing factor in the growth of the luxury market.
Not only that but demand for luxury is steadily increasing here in the UAE making the luxury business segment a tremendous support for economic growth, with more business opportunities available. Adding to this, a confluence of factors are reshaping the luxury market consumer behaviour, which includes the evolution of e-commerce, shifts in how and where customers spend their money and the growing importance of the millennial consumer.
The growth of e-commerce will increase to double-digit figures in the coming years, as people have easy access to product information and costs, available online at any time. This constant evolution in the online space will have a further impact on how consumers perceive brands and luxury services, especially on social media, where direct communication and instant feedback is exchanged between brand and client. With social media activity on the rise, it is only necessary that these brands further engage and evolve their digital presence to keep up with the ever-changing digital scene and market demand.
Although digital presence is essential for any brand, it is the consumer experience that makes them stand out from the rest, giving further emphasis in making the experience a positive one for the client. High-end clients are dictating increasingly when, where and how they engage with luxury brands. They have become both critics and creators, demanding a more personalised, bespoke luxury experience, and expect to be given the opportunity to shape the products and services they consume.
The luxury consumer continues to prefer indulging in experiences, rather than goods. Therefore the luxury industry will have to continue to focus on how to deliver authentic, meaningful and memorable experiences to their customers, both in the things they offer and the way they offer them. I believe the customer service experience is going to become even more important in 2017 and the years ahead.
I am very positive and optimistic about business and market growth in 2017, as there will be continued development of high-end retail space, multi-million-dollar infrastructure projects and on-growing opportunities for entrepreneurs from all over the world to invest in new businesses and concepts in Dubai, a pattern which reveals that the luxury segment will remain confident in the market.
With over 12 years in the UAE, Delhaye Gregory Group has witnessed a substantial evolvement in the luxury market, and 2016 was one of the best years, if not the best for us, with 150% increase in business since 2015. Catering to the international elite, we have consistently been expanding into new niche sectors with top notch services, working on various occasions and interests.
Dubai has been the leader in ongoing growth with mega-projects, such as the Dubai Water Canal, Dubai Opera House and rising trillion-dollar island city districts and waterfront developments, efforts that are bestowed on this country by its Rulers who have been leading as true and inspiring entrepreneurs. Being based in Dubai opens many opportunities, and DGG has had many opportunities to expand and cross market borders, doing business in Europe, Asia, and the Americas and across the GCC region.
Grégory Delhaye, is the founder and Chairman of Delhaye Grégory Group (dgg.ae), the UAE’s leading luxury service provider. Companies under the DGG umbrella are: Platinum Events, Platinum Lifestyle, Platinum Weddings, Furniture Rental, Maison Des Fleurs, Vintage and Prestige Motors, Platinum Auction, Atelier 971Photography, DG Investments, and The Overmarine Group.