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Dubai Watch Week - Interview with Director Melika Yazdjerdi

Dubai Watch Week Interview with Director Melika Yazdjerdi

The Dubai Watch Week Director shares her feedback on last year's edition and sets the tone for the 2017 event.

The Dubai Watch Week carried out a detailed survey of participants after the 2016 edition. Can you share some of the main findings?

At Dubai Watch Week we are passionate about hosting a platform that encourages the act of knowledge sharing and education in the industry. Because of this, and the fact that we are a very new event, we asked our visitors and guests for their thoughts and feedback on all elements throughout the week.

The feedback we received was incredibly positive and further encouraged us to host a third edition this year, as well as make it even better than the last two.

What we found is that before our debut in 2015, an event in the format of Dubai Watch Week was sorely missing from the industry calendar. It has underlined the importance of creating a networking event that makes knowledge sharing and education the primary objective. Therefore it is an event that brands and experts hold in high regard and ardently want to be a part of.

We are really proud to have received such overwhelmingly positive feedback on Dubai Watch Week so far, but we have also ensured that this year will be an evolution of the first two events. That’s why our event footprint will be larger and our amended schedule will allow for more content as well as easier access to the panels, masterclasses and creative hubs. Most importantly we have ensured that our theme – Classic & Contemporary – allows for new, fresh and relevant content and conversations throughout the week.

What is new for the 2017 edition of the Dubai Watch Week? What can visitors expect?

The theme Classic & Contemporary explores the evolution of watchmaking, by bringing the industry’s rich heritage to light as well as championing its innovation and creativity - connecting the past to the present. Visitors can expect more masterclasses, creative hubs and panels - hearing the legendary watchmakers tell their stories first hand. This year’s edition will feature new programs such digital activations in partnership with FHH, watch-craft master classes, and an evaluation room where visitors can have their watches evaluated by the experts at Christie’s.

The Dubai Watch Week is recognised as an important event for the industry at large, but how important is it for Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and for the UAE market?

Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons has been curating time since 1950 and education is a very important part of our business. Transmission of knowledge and cultural exchange is at the heart of Dubai Watch Week and we believe through this platform we can continue to foster the growing interest of collectors and watch lovers in the region.

At Dubai Watch Week we are committed to establishing the Emirate as a global destination for the education of fine watchmaking and horological craft. From 2000 to 2016, the UAE has seen a steadfast increase in the import value of Swiss watches from CHF 180 million to CHF 923 million. In 2016, the Middle East & Asian markets accounted for 49.1% export shares of Swiss wristwatches valued at CHF 11.8 billion, significantly ahead of Europe (33.9%) and North & South America (14.7%).

The event not only targets the international watch calendar, but also reinforces the Emirate’s vision in establishing Dubai as a key destination for knowledge, culture and innovation. The importance of UAE as a key market will remain the driving force behind our strategy for Dubai Watch Week over the next four years.

The forums are a highly appreciated part of the Dubai Watch Week. What subjects will they be covering this year?

The Horology Forum continues to address current topics and to spark conversation around all aspects of watchmaking. This year we will cover subjects such innovation, technology, diversification, relevance of aftercare and of course, the importance of preserving traditional techniques. 

Last year visitors to the Dubai Mall were treated to a huge watch exhibition. What will they be treated to this year?

Currently we are still finalising the various programs and aspects of the event and we will be able to share more details very soon – it is safe to say there will be something new for every visitor at the third edition of Dubai Watch Week.

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