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Eyeing Luxury Market Growth


Patrick Chalhoub, co-CEO of The Chalhoub Group, talks about the region’s luxury goods market and vision for the future.


May 23, 2012 3:22 by

Patrick, maybe you can start by giving us an overview of the luxury market in the Middle East, more focused on the GCC. What are the trends that you have seen since the crisis, in 2009 there was a slight dip, but after that how has it picked up and where do you see the market heading?
The luxury market in the Middle East has evolved a lot in the past 50 years and we have seen an acceleration in the past five to 10 years. Historically, it was really much focused on some families of some very high-net-worth individuals, mostly from the top families of the region. It was only in the late 1970s when the wealth began to percolate down and spread that we had the emergence of the nouveau riche class and for these people what did luxury represent? For them, it was mainly a status symbol, to demonstrate that they also had wealth. So it was basically to show off. But this is not luxury for me, it is not the image of luxury which could be sustain¬able at long term, neither for the individuals nor the brands. So, as an organization, we had a role – to educate the customers, to bring them another understanding of what is luxury. Since the beginning of the year 2000, until the middle of the decade, we have seen a really great transformation in general of Arab consumers of luxury.

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