The UAE is the eighth in the world in Swiss watch imports

Dubai: Hamdi Saad

Mohammed Abdul Majeed Seddiqi, chief commercial officer of Seddiqi Holding Group, said: The UAE is eighth on the list of the largest importer of Swiss watches in the world, according to the latest report issued by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, which indicates the growing demand for Swiss watches in the state.

In an interview with Al Khaleej, Siddiqui added that the UAE competes with the major global regions in the trade in luxury watches, such as: the United States, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and Singapore, while the UAE ranks first in the region in terms of Swiss watch imports, due to the collective quality of retailers throughout the Emirates.

My friend indicated that the years 2020 and 2021 saw a slight decrease, and this was expected as the supply chain was disrupted due to the closure of factories due to the “Covid-19” epidemic. If Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons is a private company, it holds financial data related to sales and growth.

Seddiqi explained that the number of the company’s network of boutiques has now reached 50 locations across the UAE, with more planned for this year, compared to two stores in the past under the supervision and leadership of founder Ahmed Qassem Seddiqi (may God be gracious to him)), as it has been constantly striving to meet the aspirations of collectors of watches in the area since 1950.

60 international points

Seddiqi confirmed that today the company has become the leading luxury watch retailer in the Middle East, in partnership with more than 60 international brands of watches and jewelry, while “Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons” is committed to preserving the legacy of its founder and to enhance, through the dedication and passion inherited by the generations of the Seddiqi family. . The company continues its tireless work to provide sustainable watch and watch maintenance platforms, which satisfy the passions of watch enthusiasts and collectors in the region, enabling them to learn the secrets of the art of watch.

He said: “For us at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the passion we have at the heart of the family business, for the industry and its development, is in our nature and is passed down through every generation. Then my grandfather Ahmed Qassem Seddiqi ( may God have mercy on him) started working, his passion for watches was the driving force.Our vision as a family is to continue to pave the platforms that allow the industry to grow and prosper while we strengthen position as a hub for luxury, retail and watch science.

“Dubai Expo”

On the impact of “Expo 2020 Dubai” on the growth of the luxury watch market in the UAE, Siddiqui confirmed that the UAE’s presentation of the “Expo” with the participation of 192 countries, which is the largest number of participations in the history of the UAE event, is a global achievement by all standards, indicating that the global event has had a significant impact on tourism and the luxury retail industry.

He explained that although we are still dealing with the epidemic and prioritizing the health and safety of residents and tourists above all, the “Expo” has brought about major changes in the economy, and the hospitality and food and beverage industry has grown significantly and we have seen an increase in the number of tourists traveling to the United Arab Emirates to visit “Expo”, extending their stay to experience shopping and feel safe, all while following the instructions associated with the “Corona” virus complied, and the welcoming nature of the UAE was a driving force for the success of “Expo 2020 Dubai” and the luxury retail industry.

The request is still there

My friend said: “2021 has been a special year for watches in particular and with the instability due to the pandemic, we were not sure what to expect. But what we do know is that the demand for watches is still there, since “Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons” has a history of 72 years in the industry since 1950, the confidence that the local market has placed in us has been enormous.

He added: “We have seen an increase in the number of local collectors eager to reconsider their passion during the pandemic. We were pleased to welcome some new and returning tourists in 2021 and look forward to seeing it in 2022. ” He continued, “In 2022, we see that with the easing of restrictions, we will definitely see more tourists in the coming months, and we will focus on the local market as a priority, and meet the needs of our customers in the Emirates, and we will continue to cultivate their passion for this industry. “

Industry and customers

Referring to the latest industry developments and trends of luxury watch customers in the UAE and whether their habits of buying and investing in luxury watches have changed during 2022, Seddiqi said: “Since joining the company 18 years ago “We have seen a significant change over the years in how the industry and trends develop. So have all my friend’s family.”

Shopping experience

When my grandfather Ahmed Qassem Seddiqi (may God have mercy on him) founded the trading company, shops and boutiques were present in the markets, but in the nineties we saw the emergence of shopping malls in the picture and it gave the shopping experience changed in the country, today stores are still widespread, but the importance of e-commerce has increased and comprehensive channel over the past two years. Dubai has established itself as a shopping destination and a hub for luxury retail, and the welcoming and open aspect of the country has given importance to real-world experiences that take it to a new level, while setting a new standard for local and international guest set.

A passion for collecting watches

In recent years, many customers have purchased jewelry watches. Today, collectors and enthusiasts who educate themselves about watches buy pieces based on, among other things, movement, mechanisms and design. Only a small portion of customers have prioritized these factors before, but we have seen a shift in the last few years. Tastes and preferences began to develop in 2013 and 2014, and Dubai Watch Week 2015 opened the public’s eyes and fueled their passion. The platform demonstrates the importance and craftsmanship of watchmaking, while providing a space for those with a common passion to collect and discuss watches in detail.

new experiences

We are positive when we look to the future in 2022 and our focus at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons is to create and design new products and experiences for our customers. Our goal includes maintaining and developing passion and trust among customers. The industry is dynamic, we will continue to adapt and look to the future, but the passion will always be there, and it will be the key for us to achieve the vision of the customer-centric company.

Customer focus

Regarding market growth forecasts for 2022 compared to 2021 and key growth factors, Seddiqi said: “Our vision in the company since its inception has been to focus on customers and excel in retail. We view stores as an essential component of the shopping experience, and will continue to focus on increasing this benchmark for customers. “We want to continue to expand our portfolio of brands, exploring new concepts for shopping malls and shopping experiences.”

Limited edition

The products and limited expenses we design for the market will play a big role in brand development. This was especially the case with independent brands. Many collectors did not know enough about the brand or wanted to invest to learn more. At Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons we had to educate them and highlight the uniqueness of these brands, which we now see bearing fruit. “It will be essential to continue to educate and nurture the passion of current collectors while developing unique experiences for the curious or inquisitive as you join us on this journey,” he said.

2022 and more growth

In response to his expectations about the full recovery of the luxury and expensive watch market in the Emirates after the “Covid-19” epidemic, my friend said: The epidemic has definitely affected many industries, including the watch industry. However, we have seen an increase in demand in the UAE and due to the restrictions imposed, customers wanted to invest in watches. Many of them consider watches to be works of art and appreciate the heritage and craftsmanship associated with making such watches. We have seen the younger generation enter the industry, eager to acquire pieces to start building their collection, as many of them were inspired by the watches they received from previous generations, who spend time educating themselves and build their own opinions instead of following trends in the industry. We expect further growth in 2022 and will continue to work with brands and industry partners to meet demand in the region.

“vintage” brand

Regarding the number of brands that Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons currently offers, Seddiqi explained that the company currently has more than 85 brands, and that it is in the process of acquiring more brands that we feel will attract watch lovers in the region.

Regarding the world’s leading brands that are part of the Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons portfolio, he said: “We are grateful for all the relationships we have established over the years with brands and watchmakers. All brands in our portfolio are internationally without any exceptions. The only brand born and conceived in the UAE is Vintage, a by-product of our vision to continue creating unique collectibles that unite collectors worldwide. “

Vintage is a proprietary brand of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, and we believe it will become an international brand, with the support of the state and local and regional collectors. We believe we can create a brand born in the UAE on a global scale, and our passion will continue to contribute positively to its success.

35 limited edition

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UAE in 2021, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons has created more than 35 limited edition with industry brands. The huge response we received from this initiative was a driving force in the creation of Vintage, and we want to continue to listen to our customers, develop unique and limited edition watches, jewelry and more, both to share their passion for to drive and to convey trends. industries alike.

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