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arab luxury world 2014: Successful conversations on luxury



Approximately 500 industry leaders and experts attended the arab luxury world conference on June 2 and 3 at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi.


Organised by Mediaquest, the two-day event focused on discussing the outlook, challenges and opportunities within the Mena luxury sector. “It provided a much-needed platform for savvy industry professionals to connect with one another and have meaningful conversations about the issues that matter the most,” says Julien Hawari, co-CEO of Mediaquest Corp.


The conference comprised keynote addresses, panel discussions, breakout sessions and workshops.  “The calibre of partners, speakers and panellists that joined the conference was not only impressive, but a true reflection of the wide range of businesses that make up the luxury landscape today,” adds Hawari.


Hawari opened the conference with an introductory speech and continued by introducing Alain Lorenzo, president and CEO of LVMH Fragrance Brands, who spoke about the role of tradition in the luxury industry.


Nadine Touma, head of market and consumer intelligence at Chalhoub Group, then took to the stage to present the group’s latest survey, highlighting three consumer trends that govern the luxury sector in the Middle East. Through the survey, it was found that 94 per cent of respondents went shopping ‘whenever they feel like it’ and spent an average of $2,400 per month, 90 per cent of respondents in Riyadh want to wear items with visible branding and 79 per cent of respondents in the GCC region rank their friends and families as their biggest influence on decision making when purchasing items.


Throughout the first day, numerous panel discussions were conducted on topics such as the Expectations of Arab Consumers, UHNWI Spending Patterns, Homegrown Luxury and Online Content.  Remy Oudghiri, director of trends and insights at IPSOS, presented the results of a recent research paper, stating that the Middle East stands out from other regions by seeking the most innovative products and styles. “Luxury is a symbol of the future,” says Oudghiri.


On the second day, panel discussions focused on topics such as Digital Strategy, Tourism Effect, Marketing to UHNWIs, E-commerce Trends and Challenges, New Talents and Brand Ambassadors.


During the Tourism Effect panel discussion, it was stated that: “In 2013, 11 million tourists visited Dubai, a 10.6 per cent increase from 2012. Approximately 28 per cent of visitors to Dubai were recorded to be from Russia, the UK and France”.


“If the conference takes place next year, I would come back with pleasure. I would also advise my colleagues to come, because it is a place where not only you listen to a lot of interesting speeches from different panellists, but it is also a great place to network and meet a lot of key people in the region. I think it is high time [that we attend such events] in Dubai, which is the economic centre in the Middle East, so I am really glad this conference happened and I am sure, through time, it is going to get better and better,” says Lorenzo.


The next arab luxury world conference will take place in May 2015.


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