Arab Luxury World 2017 launches 1st global student competition

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Arab Luxury World 2017, the Middle East’s leading luxury business conference, has launched its first ever Global Student Competition to showcase the views of the next generation about what the future holds for the luxury goods and services market. The competition will culminate at the upcoming conference on May 22 and 23 at The Westin, Dubai, and has already served to foster cooperative relationships and exchanges with some of the world’s most prestigious universities.

Bringing together regional and global graduate students, Arab Luxury World has invited participants from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the USA to share their views on the future of the luxury, design and fashion businesses. The competition has attracted a high level of entries from leading institutions, including Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), Hong Kong and USA; Columbia Business School, USA; the International University of Monaco, France; INSEAD Business School, France; Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Paris (HEC), France; ESSEC Business School, France; and Bologna Business School, Italy.

Julien Hawari, Co-CEO of Mediaquest, commented: “The luxury industry is experiencing a profound transformation in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the end of the era of overabundance in the Middle East, and the theme of this year’s conference – ‘Digital Disruption and Emotional Engagement’ – aims to address the core challenges facing the industry today. In this context, the innovative, forward-thinking ideas of the next generation are of huge value and we are delighted to have received such a high number of entries from tomorrow’s luxury business leaders. We look forward to hearing more from the competition finalists on this subject during our dedicated ‘Next Gen’ session.”

The students’ entries have been judged by a jury of sector experts, including Robert Meeder, Professor of Luxury Fashion Management at SCAD Hong Kong; Dr. Anne-Flore Maman Larraufie, founder and owner of SémioConsult and Academic Director at ESSEC Business School; Hatem Alakeel, Saudi designer; Elda Choucair, CEO of PHD MENA; Craig D’Silva, Head of PR and Corporate Communications at INFINITI Middle East; and Dr T B (Mac) McClelland Jr, President and Chief Executive Officer of Center House Ltd.

The five shortlisted students are Lama Balaghi from INSEAD, Vivien So from SAD Hong Kong, Theresa Osugba from Bologna Business School, Rafael Cortes from ESSEC, and a joint entry by Jillian Wang, Karen Fahmy, Khaoula Siddiqi and Marta Cuenca from Columbia Business School. The students will be flown to Dubai for the final judging, accompanied by one faculty member from their school. They will present their essays to the jury on Sunday, May 21 – the day before Arab Luxury World 2017 kicks off – and the finalist will be announced on Tuesday, May 23, during the conference. The five selected students will also be part of a panel discussion called ‘Next Gen’, where attendees will be treated to unique, fresh insights from the next generation on topics, ranging from products and design, to fashion, marketing and how youth will consume premium goods.

Arab Luxury World serves as a dynamic platform for regional and global professionals from the premium goods and services market to engage in meaningful discussions about the latest trends and core challenges facing the luxury industry today. The conference will feature more than 30 separate activities spread over the two days, with participation from industry leaders, luxury brands, distributors, agents, retailers, mall operators, service providers and media representatives to lend greater depth to the sessions.

The event has grown into a global networking platform that is generously supported by key movers in the industry.

First launched in 2014, last year’s Arab Luxury World conference saw approximately 700 industry professionals and 50 media representatives hear from 80 speakers. Set against a backdrop of shifting consumer behaviour and mounting economic pressure, the forthcoming edition will serve to equip attendees with the insights they need to face challenges head on and secure ongoing business in the sector.

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