Christophe Nicaise, CEO of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons
As the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH releases the first quarter Swiss watch import reports for 2011, the figures position the UAE among the top 10 importers of Swiss timepieces. The report shows that the UAE has already reached 175, 500, 000 Swiss Francs in Q1 of 2011, building on the total global figure of 578, 500, 000 in 2010, illustrating an optimistic boost for the local market. Compared to the 2010 numbers, the report indicated a healthy growth in the first Q1 although compared to the 2009 figures, the UAE has achieved a 81.5% growth.
With the retail sector representing one of the most resilient industries across the UAE, luxury consumers from local, regional and international destinations have made Swiss watches among the most desirable gifts and collectibles.
The importance of high-end brands like those represented by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons including Rolex, Patek Phillipe and Audemars Piguet , are now coming back into focus. Despite an unfavourable base effect, exports recorded a rise of 11.1% in March 2011 after an increase of 37.9% posted in March 2010, underscoring the importance of retailers like UAE-based Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons. Together with Saudi Arabia, these two markets today count for around 6 percent of total Swiss watch exports globally.
“Demand for both high-end and more fashion-centric Swiss watches in the UAE has remained strong in the first quarter of 2011, and we believe that the new models previewed recently in Basel and set to come to the market this year will interest both existing collectors and new watch enthusiasts,” said Mr. Christophe Nicaise, CEO of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.
“At Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons our foremost ambition is to ensure a progressive outlook in everything we do; from the professional development of our employees, to the diversity of brands we are selling, to our network of outlets throughout the UAE. From a single store in Bur Dubai in 1950 to now housing over 50 prestigious brands in 50 locations, we hope that our values of constant progression and improvement are something that will continue contributing to the growth of the luxury timepiece market within the Gulf’s retail industry.”
Furthermore, the confidence and optimism displayed at SIHH and BASELWORLD, the world’s leading platforms for international watch and jewellery brands, is another promising sign of things to come with interest growing for Swiss watch brands from potential buyers, collectors and media exposure.