The 42nd edition of the Middle East Watch and Jewellery Show kicked of today under gracious patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. The Show was inaugurated by Sheikh Khaled bin Abdullah bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Seaports and Customs in Sharjah at the Expo Centre Sharjah. Held with the support of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the show continues until April 8.
Following the opening ceremony, Sheikh Khaled bin Sultan Al Qasimi toured the exhibition’s pavilions and stands, and was briefed on the latest developments in the industries of jewellery and watchmaking. He also reviewed the products on offer at the show, which include a selection of the most renowned international brands in watches and gold, diamond and precious stones, inspired by the latest design trends.
Sheikh Khaled was accompanied by His Excellency Abdullah bin Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, board members of SCCI and His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO of Expo Centre Sharjah, along with government officials, VIPs, a number of diplomats, traders and representatives of the jewellery and watches industry.
On his tour, Sheikh Khaled noted the remarkable participation of a number of leading and renowned manufacturers, designers in jewellery and watchmaking, on regional and international levels. He also praised the outstanding organization of the exhibition and the size of local and international participation, which reflects the importance of the event, reinforces its heritage and consolidates the success of its recurring editions.
The event occupies an area of 30,000 square meters, and provides visitors with the opportunity to make immediate purchases from over 500 of the world’s leading jewelers and finest watchmakers representing over 20 countries. The list of participating countries includes Italy, the United Kingdom, Brazil, the United States, Lithuania, Turkey, India, China, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Bahrain, in addition to the most prominent companies from the UAE.
His Excellency Abdullah bin Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the United Arab Emirates and many countries around the region enjoy a growing market for luxury products, driven by the demand from locals, residents, tourists, and the youth who are knowledgeable about luxury and niche brands. This adds to the value of the event as an unparalleled platform that allows local and international brands to showcase their latest creation for traders and visitors looking for jewellery pieces and watches.
Al Owais added that the size of the participation in the exhibition is growing annually, based on the prosperous economic conditions of the UAE; a leading attractive destination for visitors and the fastest-growing market in the region for the second consecutive year, according to the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index. This confirms that the Middle East Watch and Jewellery Show has all the necessary elements to elevate the sales of the sector in the country.
His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO of Expo Centre Sharjah, Chairman of the Arab Union for Exhibitions and Events, said that the Middle East Watch and Jewellery Show is one of the key events hosted by Expo Centre Sharjah, attracting the world’s leading companies, brands, traders and businessmen. The Show is most relevant to the retail sector and a large segment of the population that is interested in fine jewellery and watches as part of their lifestyle, given the high per capita income and the passion individuals have for purchasing the latest luxury products and unique designs released in the market.
India has the lion’s share of this year’s participation, with 70 exhibitors located at its pavilion, followed by Hong Kong (46 exhibitors), Italy (30 exhibitors), Lebanon (28 exhibitors), Singapore and Malaysia (16 exhibitors each), Turkey (15 exhibitors), Thailand (9 exhibitors) and China (5 exhibitors).
The show is supported by Platinum sponsor Salem Al Shueibi Jewellery, and hosts a daily draw to win a diamond ring; visitors who make purchases worth AED500 or more are eligible to enter the draw. Moreover, a final draw will be held on the last day of the show with a grand prize of BMW-420i, in addition to the chance to win a pearl necklace by Dhamani of the United States and diamond rings by Exotic Jewellery.
The exhibition opens its doors to public from 12pm till 10pm during weekdays, except for Thursday, April 6, where it will welcome visitors from 12pm till 11pm, and Friday, April 7, from 3pm till 11pm. The exhibition has dedicated ladies-only timings on Wednesday, April 5, from 12pm till 4pm.
The luxury market in the United Arab Emirates grew exponentially to reach USD3 billion in 2004, and it reached a value of USD9 billion over the decade, according to a recent report by market research firm, Euromonitor International. The research found that Emiratis spent approximately USD7 billion in 2016, recording a 14.6% increase from the figures of 2015.
Another report, by TechSci Research, predicts that the gems and jewellery market will record a CAGR of over 7%, between 2014 and 2019. This is driven by the fact that Abu Dhabi has the highest per capita income in the region with over USD13,000, followed by Dubai with over USD12,000, and Riyadh, which stands at around USD12,000, according to the Economist Intelligent Unit.
Dubai rose to the top rank in international visitors spending, which accounted for more than USD31 billion; far ahead of London, which came second with USD19 billion only. Experts see that the rising prices of gold offers investors and jewellery lovers a chance to make their purchases before prices rise higher.