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Saks Fifth Avenue hatches regional plans

Saks Fifth Avenue and its local partner, Style Avenue Middle East, reveal plans to open four stores in the Gulf.

Damas Jewellery, Kapico Group, Chalhoub Group and the Al Mana Group have joined forces to bring the Saks Fifth Avenue luxury retail brand to the Middle East.

The four companies have created a new entity called Style Avenue Middle East, which holds the rights to own and run Saks Fifth Avenue stores in Arab countries outside Saudi Arabia.

The first Saks, in Dubai’s Bur Juman extension, opens ‘some time in Summer.’ Outlets will follow in Doha in 2005, in Bahrain in 2006 and in Kuwait at a time yet to be decided.

The Dubai flagship store will occupy 80,000 square metres and be spread over two levels.

“Our mission is to build a store that becomes the authority of style and fashion in the market, by consistently providing an inviting shopping experience in a luxurious yet relaxed environment, delivered by knowledgeable and gracious personnel,” said Rusi Motiwalla, general manager, Style Avenue Middle East.

The store’s department managers will receive training in North America and corporate instructors will be sent to Dubai to train store employees in all things Saks Fifth Avenue.

Lily Arjomand, who has 15 years of experience with Saks Fifth Avenue Corporation, has been drafted in as general manager of merchandising & marketing to help ensure that the regional stores meet with Saks’ high standards.

The announcement of the Dubai opening also saw the owner of Bur Juman Centre, Majid Al Ghurair, commit to a June completion date for the much delayed extension.

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