Page 107 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine VII

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S I M P LY A B U DH A B I
Simply AbuDhabi caught upwithAbdul
Hamied for a question-and-answer session:
How would you describe Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons in five words?
Leading Swiss luxury watch retailer.
How important is this joint venture with HAMG for Ahmed Seddiqi
and Sons?
This joint venture was a perfect combination of two strong companies, who will
complement each other in enhancing Al Manara International Jewellery’s presence in
Abu Dhabi. Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons have expertise in luxury retailing, and HAMG
have expertise in joint ventures and investments.
Why did you look at acquiring another luxury operator such as Al
Manara instead of rolling out the Seddiqi boutiques?
Al Manara is a reputable, Abu Dhabi-based jeweller, with a similar portfolio of brands
to that of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons. As an Emirati company, we saw the opportunity in
developing an established business by bringing in the vast expertise of Ahmed Seddiqi
& Sons.
In doing so, we have created a far more challenging task than simply rolling out more
Seddiqi boutiques. But our main objective is to create a unique retail concept that will
bring in a new luxury shopping experience across Abu Dhabi.
The chosen name for the new joint venture is Al Manara International
Jewellery. Why was it important to keep the Al Manara name, rather
than just converting them into Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons boutiques?
Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and HAMG have great respect for Mr Al Samman and all his
efforts in building and maintaining this brand; and as supporters of Al Manara, it is
our responsibility to keep this local brand’s name going and enhance it with the
expertise we both have.
Is it true that the Al Manara employees were kept on after the
finalisation of the joint venture?
Both parties place enormous value on their employees. The decision was taken by
the management to retain all the current employees – and enhance their skills
through a series of dedicated workshops.
Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons is famed for its personalised customer care
andworld-class service; canwe expect the same from the Al Manara
International Jewellery boutiques?
The new Al Manara International Jewellery management, under the supervision of
Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and HAMG, will bring the best quality service and products
into this new joint venture. We have already started the process by appointing a new
General Manager with vast experience in luxury retail management, and by hiring
a reputable Trainer, who also has expertise in luxury retail.
What is the brand ethos behind Al Manara?
We want to be the uncontested leading luxury watch retailer in Abu Dhabi, and to
develop new market standards and practices. Customer experience will be the
cornerstone of Al Manara International Jewellery, along with service, product
exclusivity and availability.
What are your strategic growth plans for Al Manara?
The strategic growth plan is starting as we speak, with the opening of three new
stores in Abu Dhabi Marina Mall. On July 15th we opened the first high-end multi-
brand store, which will feature the new Al Manara International Jewellery retail
format and its new corporate identity. On the same date, the new Hublot and
Chopard boutiques were unveiled, bringing to Abu Dhabi the brand’s latest retail
concept, architecture and design.
We are also currently looking at expanding the new concept of Al Manara
International Jewellery into new luxury shopping malls or five-star luxury hotels,
by securing prime locations across Abu Dhabi.
Swiss envoy Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart and Mr Abdul Hamied