BoF explores whether post-crisis Dubai can become the world’s largest consumer fashion hub
Featuring an interview with His Excellency Mohammed Alabbar
Business of Fashion (BoF) has today published an article detailing a discussion between Fashion Editor At Large Melanie Rickey and His Excellency Mohammed Alabbar, concerning the success of the Vogue Dubai Fashion Experience – a project and concept co-hosted by Emaar, which is owned by Mr Alabbar. The article explores the potential that the emirate has to become a fully fledged 'fashion capital' in coming years, following the financial crisis that caused such a stumbling block for the region in 2008.
The 58-year-old business mastermind speaks frankly about how the major crash affected his life, and working practices globally, saying, "I was not just a UAE company, we were bleeding everywhere. I run 700 stores in the Far East. I tell you it changed my life. We've never been through a crisis like that and it was devastating."
"Dubai is their New York. Dubai is their Milan."
The pair also discuss Dubai's beneficial positioning in the region, and the appetite that shoppers here have to consume luxury. "For 1.1 billion people across the Middle East, Africa, India... Dubai is their New York. Dubai is their Milan," he says. "They choose to come here rather than visit London or Paris. I don't think the world can keep up with London prices. In reality, the world needs many hubs where people can come to do business and live a reasonable quality of life," he continues. "That's how Dubai will be – a global town people come to for inspiration, quality of life, modernity. Dubai's location puts us in a catchment area of 2.5 billion people. The demographics of the region as a whole are that you have 60 percent below the age of 26. And of course, art, fashion, personal style and technology is critical for these people."