By Staff writer
Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry says UAE is among the world's top 10 import markets
The demand for Swiss watches in the UAE grew by nearly nine percent in 2014, making the UAE one of the world's top 10 markets, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.
Its annual report said that the UAE saw the import of Swiss watches increase by 8.9 percent last year compared to the previous 12 months.
The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said the total value of imports rose to of 1.017 billion Swiss Francs ($1.086 billion).
The report said exports to Asia accounted for over half the Swiss watch global export shares at 54 percent, with Middle Eastern markets including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait in the top 30 rankings.
A total of 2,973,016 Swiss watches were imported by markets in the Middle East, cementing the Middle East as the second highest regional importer after Europe.
Mohammed Abdulmagied Seddiqi, vice president of sales and retail at watch retailer, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, said: "The UAE continues to maintain its position as one of the world's top luxury retail destinations with a consistent demand for Swiss watchmaking expertise... We expect this trend to continue in 2015."
In 2014, the Swiss watch industry maintained a figure of 22.2 billion francs in yearly global exports and sustained an annual growth rate of 1.9 percent, according to the report.
The ranks of global Swiss watch export distributions in 2014 were dominated by Hong Kong, US, China, Japan, Italy, Germany, Singapore, France and the United Kingdom and the UAE.