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Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons - Seddiqi Family

Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons Seddiqi Family

Founders of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and Dubai Watch Week**

One of the first retailers for Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet in the Middle East, Ahmed Qasim Seddiqi nurtured a passion and respect for watchmaking that underpinned the growth of the family business, passed on from him to Late Chairman Ibrahim Ahmed Seddiqi and his brothers. His abiding integrity and transparency in business dealings were the building blocks for an enterprise that has since 1950 introduced more than 60 luxury watch and jewellery brands to the region.

The company remains helmed by family members (which includes eight third-generation family members and one fourth-generation family member); the founder’s sons Abdulmagied Seddiqi and Abdul Hamied Seddiqi (also a member of the esteemed GPHG jury in 2011, then 2014 until 2019) are Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively. One grandson, Mohammed Abdulmagied Seddiqi, is Chief Commercial Officer, while another, Osama Ibrahim Seddiqi, is Chief Financial Officer.

Seddiqi Family

Seddiqi Family © Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons

It is high testament to the longstanding relationships nurtured over decades that when the family launched Dubai Watch Week – the Middle East’s first international event dedicated to watchmaking culture – in 2015, the list of attendees at the inaugural edition read like a Who’s Who of Swiss fine watchmaking. “Baselworld has come to Dubai,” was a common refrain. The Director General of the event, Hind Abdul Hamied Seddiqi, is one of only a handful of women in the region who occupy a senior role in watchmaking; the granddaughter of Ahmed Qasim leads a game-changing event.

It is fitting that the company that introduced Rolex to the U.A.E opened the world’s largest Rolex boutique in Dubai in May 2018; the 850 square-metre, three-storey space features the brand’s traditional colours and incorporates elements of watchmaking in the interior design.

In 2020, as the family-owned business marks 70 years of retail, it has partnered with brands in its portfolio including MB&F to produce special edition watches celebrating the anniversary. With collectors in the region increasingly more knowledgeable, the family also recently joined hands with WatchBox, the world’s biggest online reseller of pre-owned timepieces. “We wanted to create a safe space for those looking to invest in a second-hand watch; we believe it is our duty to revolutionise this sector across the region,” says Mohammed Abdulmagied Seddiqi, one of the first ‘traditional’ retailers to join hands with the second-hand market, a game-changing move. It seems that even for the custodians of time in the Middle East, time doesn’t stand still.

*Written by Jola Chudy

*On the occasion of GMT Magazine and WorldTempus' 20th anniversary, we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with a 10% discount if you use the following code: WT2021.

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