Tommy is The One

What next for Tommy Hilfiger? As you must surely know, the American fashion guru was in Dubai all last week promoting the opening of his latest store – his first in the Middle East. I am told another 25 stores in Dubai alone is on the cards.

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By  Ben Dawson Published  May 14, 2006

|~||~||~|What next for Tommy Hilfiger? As you must surely know, the American fashion guru was in Dubai all last week promoting the opening of his latest store – his first in the Middle East. I am told another 25 stores in Dubai alone is on the cards. Well, while Hilfiger is thinking about opening his own hotel chain around the globe, I can reveal that when it comes to Dubai, Tommy has his eye on The One. He is said to have been highly impressed with the way Thomas Lundgren has created The One furniture chain, and strongly believes that “Tommy” furniture stores in Dubai could be a winner. At his fashion show party last Tuesday, he told me: “It’s something I am seriously considering. I already know exactly what kind of furniture I want to sell. I am looking at where we can open the stores and how long it would take to get this project going. But I really don’t think it is more than two years away from happening.” He added: “I’ve been looking at the stuff in The One and they have shown that you can change the way furniture is sold, and still be successful. That’s what I want to do next.” I wish him well – Tommy is a fab guy who deserves to succeed in this market. MOVING UP Congratulations to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), which has appointed a new Board of Directors at the DIFC Authority. The previous Board is stepping down on schedule following its success in overseeing the creation and initial operational period of the DIFC. The Chairman of the new Board is David Eldon, a former Chairman and Chief Executive of Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd. The Deputy Chairman is Abdulaziz Abdulla Al-Ghurair, the Chief Executive of Mashreqbank. The other Board Directors are Sameer Al Ansari, Hussain Al Qemzi, Cyrus Ardalan, Assem O. Kabesh and Essa Kazim. An impressive bunch you will agree. So impressive, in fact, that the rumour in the market is that the DIFC is seriously eyeing up three foreign stock exchanges, all in Europe, with takeover ambitions. Chairman David Eldon is a master of takeover, and the likes of Al Ghurair also know exactly how to build a business. I am told an announcement could come as early as next Sunday. You read it here first. ANOTHER OWN GOAL Not long now before the brand new Emirates Stadium opens, which from August this year will be the new home of Arsenal Football Club. You may recall that Emirates Airline paid US$180 million as part of a unique stadium naming and shirt sponsorship deal with the club. Quite how happy Emirates is feeling about the deal today is another matter. I am told a few Emirates Airline executives were at the last Arsenal game of the season to witness the closing down of its old stadium Highbury. Hopefully they didn't join the rush to buy some of the old stadiums seats as souvenirs. Many fans did, only to then receive a letter from the club saying: "It is with great regret that the Club announces that we are unable to sell any Highbury seats to our supporters. We have been informed that all of the Highbury seats, apart from the Directors’ Box, the dug outs and the Executive Box seats, contain very small amounts of the toxic metal cadmium." The letter continues: "The seats are completely safe and are not a risk to health when located within a stadium, but it is understood that if the seats are stored inside and used regularly over a long period of time, there is a slight risk that very small amounts of cadmium could be released." Oops.||**||

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