Damas plans major watch spin-off

Dubai-based jewellery company, Damas, has unveiled plans to launch a major spin-off branch targeting the youth watch market.

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By  Alicia Buller Published  May 7, 2006

Dubai-based jewellery company, Damas, has unveiled plans to launch a major spin-off branch targeting the youth watch market. The jewellery fashion house already has over 250 stores in the UAE in every major shopping mall and many hotels, as well as 50 outlets across the GCC region and worldwide. “We will invest US$27 million in creating a division of the company which will be just for watches,” said Tawhid Abdullah, managing director of Damas, speaking exclusively to Arabian Business. “We already have a small watch department, but now we intend to be more serious and this means creating a new brand of Damas that is just for youth watches.” The firm designs its own collections, in addition to selling already-established worldwide jewellery brands. However, the new youth watch venture will focus solely on the reselling of internationally recognised branded timepieces. “The watches will be those of specially selected brands, but not Damas-designed,” confirmed Abdullah. “However, we will present the watches within their own outlets, with a new spin-off Damas brand name.” The managing director plans to oversee the opening of 30 dedicated GCC stores by the end of this year. “There are not too many players within the dedicated youth watch market and I think we could well be number five or number six in the market – right from the start,” he said. “By the end of the year, we will have separate outlets only for young-orientated watches. By this I mean males and females between about 20 to 30 years old. The Damas policy is to give the customers what they want, and I believe this is what they would like: a dedicated store just for their favourite styles of watches,” he explained. Abdullah runs the family-owned jewellery giant alongside his two brothers, Tawfique, and Tamjid, chairman and deputy-managing director respectively. Last year the firm recorded revenues of over US$815 million, with profits rising above US$148 million. The new watch venture was unveiled alongside plans to double the size of Damas over the next 10 years, through a series of rapid expansions across the GCC, Italy and India. Abdullah added that he plans to source UAE-based talent from the Damas graduate programme that encourages and funds small business ventures. “Being a UAE brand is a very proud moment for us wherever we go,” he said. “18 months ago Damas set up a small business support programme for graduates, and from this group we hope to recruit some of our own businesspeople or store designers.”

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