x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Luxury event in Abu Dhabi open only to the super-rich

An event featuring a Rod Stewart concert, 100 luxury brands and top tennis players will be held in Abu Dhabi next year. But admission will be strictly limited to the world's wealthiest.

Have you ever dreamed of meeting the designers behind luxury brands and seeing a collection of the world's most expensive paintings, jewellery and cars, all in one place?

Forget it, unless you are among the world's wealthiest people.

But if you are, you may expect in the coming months to receive a hand-delivered invitation engraved on a gold and sliver plaque. That is your ticket to The Collection: an exclusive invite-only event being held next year in Abu Dhabi at ADNEC in the run-up to the Grand Prix race.

The event, which will run for three days and nights from October 31, will feature 100 luxury brands, the chance to order bespoke clothes and watches, sales by the world's largest auction houses, a tennis match involving top players and a concert by Rod Stewart.

"You can expect to see the European fashion houses here but not with the racks of their Spring collections but with their pencils and paper and their fabric samples," said Chris James, the founder and managing director of The Collection.

"This hasn't happened anywhere else in the world."

The organisers expect 5,000 people to attend the event each day. The luxury brands, which pay an undisclosed amount to take part, receive a limited number of invites to hand out to their best customers worldwide.

"We have a list as well [drawn up through] careful research and speaking to people," said Mr James.

On first day, a sale will be held by the world's top auction houses of vintage cars and motorbikes. The second day will be dedicated to jewellery worn by some of the "world's most beautiful women" in the last 200 years, while the final day will feature an auction of works by the Old Masters.

In 2014 events will also be held in Monaco and Mumbai and later the list will be expanded to include Hong Kong and the Hamptons, America's playground for the rich and famous.

But Abu Dhabi will remain the flagship event.

"If you imagine that the ultra high net worth and high net worth individual is a migratory bird and they fly around the world in their private jets from one beautiful place to another. They go to the Grand Prix and they go to the Hamptons," said Mr James.

"The Collection follows that migratory path."

gduncan@thenational.ae