University of Dubai panel discussion points to need for providing specialised courses on luxury retail

Press release
Published August 6th, 2015 - 08:10 GMT

A panel discussion organised by the Centre for Executive Development at the University of Dubai highlighted the importance of luxury retail sector in the UAE market and the need for educational programmes and specialised training courses to develop this vibrant sector.

Held at the Dubai Chamber, the discussion, moderated by Hikmat Beaini, Communications Manager of University of Dubai, witnessed the participation of experts from the industry and group of university students from financial and marketing majors at the university. The focal areas of discussion were the luxury retail sector, including market trends and size, income and socioeconomic factors, luxury brands and luxury department stores. It also looked at the status of luxury in the UAE and the Gulf countries.

Among those present were Dr. Vidya Nandagopal, CED Director; Rania Masri, General Manager, Level Shoe District - Chalhoub Group; Erwin Bamps, CEO of Gulf Craft; Ram Nair, Director of Strategic - Retail Pro International; and Dr. Rahim Hussain and Dr. Eappen Thiruvattal, both from the University of Dubai.

Rania Masri said “Counterfeit luxury goods pose the biggest challenge to the sector, especially in relation to high quality products.” Masri emphasised the need to develop educational and training programmes focused on strengthening retail culture and best practices in this area. Masri pointed out that some brands have become more successful than others, managing to sustain consumer interest for many years.

Erwin Bamps said “Dubai has succeeded in becoming a leading regional hub for luxury, providing an integrated system of services for tourists from all over the world, supported by robust infrastructure and security, luxury hotels and wide options in the luxury retail sector.” The UAE requires specialists in the field of luxury to keep up with market demands and its huge growth prospects, Bamps added. 

Ram Nair said “The concept of luxury today includes all aspects of lifestyle goods, food and destinations, and therefore there is a steady growth in the luxury retail sector.” Nair pointed to the need to enhance the capacity of workers in this sector in areas such as consumer trends, after-sales service, and technical aspects of luxury goods.

Commenting on the event, Dr Eesa M. Bastaki, President of University of Dubai, said the University of Dubai is focused on efforts to develop human resources in line with the requirements of the growing UAE market at the local and international level. He added the University of Dubai will strive to provide quality training programmes in all areas, including the luxury retail sector, which has become an integral part of the Dubai brand.

Luxury retail in the UAE is valued at around $6 billion a year, according to a report from the Chalhoub Group. Dubai has developed into a retail tourism destination that has the presence of 82 per cent of the world’s top luxury brands.

The Luxury Brands and Retail Management program will be held at a 5-star Hotel in downtown Dubai is a joint venture between the University of Dubai and Institut Supérieur de Marketing du Luxe in November. Registration ends 2nd October.

Background Information

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