A Look Back At Dubai Watch Week 2021 With Hind Seddiqi
Hind Seddiqi, Director General of Dubai Watch Week, is the real mastermind behind the show that has been successfully running since 2015.
From completely redesigning the event to account for the reality of COVID-19 to the new format and first-time exhibitors of Dubai Watch Week 2021, Hind Seddiqi and her team have exceeded all expectations.
What makes the show so vibrant, and what should we expect from the future editions of the show? Discover all the answers in our interview.
Now that some time has passed, what are your first impressions of the fifth edition of Dubai Watch Week?
The fifth edition of Dubai Watch Week was set to be the most engaging edition yet, and we are humbled by the responses we have received from the event. We were honored to reunite with our peers in the industry, celebrate watchmaking, and provide a platform for education and sharing knowledge between brands, collectors, media, and the general public.
Our mission has always been, and will continue to be, to educate audiences but drive a community and relaxed feel throughout the event. We felt we were able to achieve this during the fifth edition.
For you, what are the most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of Dubai Watch Week?
A big goal for us is the feedback we receive from our peers. Each year we work to ensure that we collate their thoughts and endeavor to bear them all in mind when planning future editions.
Ultimately, we too are eager to learn and want to ensure participants and attendees find the event insightful and engaging and that the platform pioneers transformation in our industry. And as the recipient of the “Special Jury Prize” at GPHG 2021, we were humbled by the warm response and appreciation for the event. We hope to continue to build on this.
Another important goal for us during the fifth edition was to encourage the wider general public in the UAE to attend. The creation of a broader, more appealing program ensured this was possible, as we had over 16,000 visitors over the course of the event.
What makes the show so vibrant, in my opinion, is the state of openness. In some ways, it even reminds me of an Apple Store – open for everyone, educative, with no pressure of sales. What are your plans for DWW's future?
Dubai Watch Week is a biennial event. However, in the years we do not host DWW, we work towards the traveling edition of the Horology Forum. As a key pillar of the event, the Horology Forum functions as a platform to tackle key topics in the luxury and horology industry while inviting key speakers who are leaders in their respective fields to share their views.
For the 2021 edition, we received a lot of positive responses about the breadth of the speakers invited to participate and look forward to continuing this in 2022. We are considered to be the disruptors of watch exhibitions and look forward to facilitating the meeting of minds across our industry and industries alike. We are yet to announce any details for the traveling edition of the Horology Forum, so stay tuned for further updates.
What is so special about the Emirati market, its collectors, and watch aficionados?
The collector scene in this region has certainly developed over time. We witnessed a rise in demand for watches even during the pandemic. We were able to reactivate dormant clients and gain new clients during the pandemic – with the majority of them being local residents.
Consumers took the time to educate themselves on watches and the latest trends and styles. Thus, they are fully aware of what they want to buy and come to us with a set goal in mind. We always tell our clients to not only follow the trends in the market but that they should purchase timepieces they personally love and wish to collect. Ultimately, collectors in the region are looking for high-quality and unique watches that are affordable.
We witnessed a lot of collectors at the fifth edition of Dubai Watch Week, and they enjoyed the open access to watchmakers and brand CEOs who were able to give them one-on-one insight into their latest releases. In fact, the event is now highly anticipated by the local watch collectors and enthusiasts, and we are humbled to welcome them at each edition.
The fifth edition of Dubai Watch Week was the first year of the new format of gatherings called the Collector’s Lounge. What were your expectations? And what, so far, is the feedback like from collectors themselves and the general DWW public?
The idea for the Collector’s Lounge arose from our ongoing conversations with multiple collectors in the region who were looking for an informal space whereby they could gather to further discuss and educate themselves on the happenings of the horology industry. The objective was to create an engaging space encouraging more in-depth discussions on-site.
We curated several sessions and launches that took place exclusively at the Collector’s Lounge and were thrilled to receive a positive response for the same. We also showcased over 35 limited editions that Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons created to commemorate the UAE’s 50th anniversary, a very important milestone for our nation.
What were your favorite timepieces from the fifth edition of Dubai Watch Week?
It was certainly an action-packed week full of launches, and I truly enjoyed all of them. But if I had to choose, I would say one of my favorites was the Aramedes x Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons Mastertimer Salah Automatic Limited Edition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the UAE and featuring the Islamic prayer time mechanism.
(Photography by Watchonista)