MENAFN - Khaleej Times
Dubai seen emerging as an international fashion hub
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Dubai will emerge as an international hub for the fashion industry following the announcement to set up a dedicated design district in the emirate, a top official of a local firm says.
Emessa, the local and exclusive distributor of celebrity Turkish brand Miss Poem, considers the Dubai Design District, or D3, a step in the right direction that will put the emirate in the top 10 centres of fashion design and production.
Miss Poem is a leading ready-to-wear brand for women with a young heartbeat in Turkey and in the world. - Supplied photo
"I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Dubai and the region for this development which will attract the talented designers from the region and the world," Alaa Hajjo, chief executive of Emessa, told Khaleej Times in an interview.
Miss Poem is a leading ready-to-wear brand for women with a young heartbeat in Turkey and in the world. It has about 120 shops and 600 different points of sale across the globe. Emessa launched Miss Poem stores - one in The Dubai Mall and another one in Abu Dhabi's Al Wahda Mall - in July this year.
"From Dubai's proven records, I am sure with the determination of the UAE government, the D3 will be a venue for inspiration and will put Dubai in the top 10 centres of fashion design and production," he said.
Tecom Investments, the developer of the D3, announced in June that it aims to complete the Dh4-billion phase one of the project by January 15. The dedicated district, initially comprising of 10 buildings, will be home to some of the world's leading brands and talent besides promoting and nurturing local and regional designers.
Hajjo said Dubai has a strategic location in the trade network and following heavy investment in the infrastructure projects, the emirate has become an international trade hub for the Middle East and a gateway to the wider region for different trades.
"Logic will drive most of the corporates to operate from Dubai as [their] headquarters and we are one of them. With the announcement of the Dubai Design District, the emirate will be the place to expand or launch new operations and especially in the fashion industry," he said.
"We consider Dubai [our] headquarters for our business and expansion in the GCC is definitely in our plans," Hajjo said.
He said Miss Poem has made its UAE debut with the opening of two outlets in July and more stores will be launched in the coming months. "Our plan is to open 15 outlets in five years. The stores will be for three of our brands - Miss Poem, Hotic and Zax - all around the UAE."
Elaborating on the brands, he said Miss Poem started its retail business and textile industry in 1994, but it introduced its first collection to customers in 1998. "Today, it is a leading ready-to-wear brand for women with a young heartbeat in Turkey and in the world."
About Hotic, he said it is the time-tested and quality-proven shoes and accessories brand name for ladies and men founded in 1938, venturing into the retail segment in 1956. He said the brand uses genuine leather and natural raw materials in its products.
"Zax is a 15-year old brand and offers a wide range of high quality women and men collection ranging from suits to accessories. Zax is to be soon introduced in to the UAE market" he said.
"Miss Poem is a design-oriented company, and we continuously work to diversify our product range and meet the different tastes and requirements of the young and trendy girls," he added.
In reply to a question about the launching of new stores in the UAE, he said four more outlets of Miss Poem will be launched, including two in Dubai by 2015, one each in Al Ain by 2014 and in the Northern Emirates by 2016.
About the other two brands, he said: "We have already opened our first Hotic shop in Abu Dhabi and we are planning to open an additional eight shops for Hotic and Zax by 2017."
Forays into region
Hajjo said the company has evolved a comprehensive plan to launch the Turkish brands in the region in second phase covering the GCC, Africa and the Middle East. Overall, 38 stores will be launched in the Middle East and North Africa region in next five years.
"Actually, the second phase of expansion is underway and we expect to bring in foreword by opening our first shop for Miss Poem in Irbil and Egypt by 2014," he said.
To a question about the Saudi Arabia market, he said: "We enjoy a wide Saudi customer base especially in The Dubai Mall outlet and we are definitely looking forward reaching them in the kingdom. And we are currently studying Saudi Arabia and Bahrain."
"We are planning to launch 38 new stores in Mena region in the next five years most of them are direct investment and the others are with our respected partners in the region," he added.
About Miss Poem's performance in other markets this year so far, he said 2013 proved a great year for Turkish brands. "The first half gave us an indication of a great 2013 performance."
"Turkey, with its 65-million population, makes a big share of the Turkish brands market. Turkey's textile export is estimated to exceed 10 billion annually. Russia, Italy, Germany and Romania are in the top list of importers and total up to 40 per cent. And, we expect Middle East to keep growing and be a major market," Hajjo said.
- See more at: http://www.khaleejtimes.ae/biz/inside.asp?xfile=/data/uaebusiness/2013/September/uaebusiness_September59.xmlion=uaebusiness#sthash.mh7sUclr.dpuf
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