x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Precision opening for Rolex Tower

Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons, the largest Swiss luxury watch retailer in the UAE, has opened its Rolex-branded tower in Dubai.

Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons, the largest Swiss luxury watch retailer in the UAE, has opened its Rolex-branded tower in Dubai.

The tower on Sheikh Zayed Road was built by the retailer's property arm Seddiqi and Sons Investment and has 25 floors of flats and 31 floors of commercial space for rent.

The luxury retailer has recently branched out into property, said Hind Seddiqi, the vice president of marketing. It has other developments, such as villa compounds and Dubai's Capricorn Tower, but the Rolex Tower is its largest venture to date.

Ms Seddiqi said yesterday Rolex allowed Seddiqi to use its name at no charge because of its 50-year relationship as the brand's distributor in the UAE. She said the company does not have further projects in the pipeline.

"We would definitely like to expand but again it depends on the location and the quality of the building," Ms Seddiqi said. "I don't see anything happening in the next five years."

Retail watch sales, in the UAE and globally, have been hampered by tough economic conditions and budget-conscious consumers. Swiss watch sales in particular have been hard-hit.

But this has improved in the first nine months of this year, with imports of Swiss watches up 26.3 per cent on the same period last year, to 402.2 million Swiss francs (Dh1.53 billion).

aligaya@thenational.ae