Dolce & Gabbana expands in the Middle East

Considered as one of the new frontiers of luxury, the Middle East is sharpening the appetite of fashion houses. Like Dolce & Gabbana, which has been present in the Middle East for years and wishes to accelerate its expansion in the region. Particularly in Saudi Arabia, a country that has so far developed very few shopping spaces dedicated to high-end retail, and where the Italian luxury house wants to strengthen its presence through new significant projects.

According to a study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the size of the luxury goods market in the Middle East, estimated at nearly 15 billion euros in 2023, is set to double by 2030, to 30-35 billion euros. “The Middle East is a very interesting market for us, and one to which we have been paying close attention for many years, particularly in Saudi Arabia. It’s a vibrant region, with a strong economic and entrepreneurial dynamism and an ancient culture. There is a high concentration of young people, which represents a great opportunity for us and for the sector as a whole”, explains the company.

The company has established itself mainly in the United Arab Emirates, with boutiques in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and a total of 46 points of sale throughout the Middle East. The company is focusing in particular on Saudi Arabia, where it already has four shops, including two in Jeddah (in the Boulevard Mall and El Khayyat Center shopping centers) and two in Riyadh, in the Centria Mall and Via Riyadh, the capital’s new luxury shopping destination.

Here, in partnership with local company Sela, Dolce & Gabbana has just inaugurated a large shop offering its men’s and women’s collections, from ready-to-wear to accessories, with areas dedicated to the new product categories launched in recent years, such as homeware and furnishings from the Dolce & Gabbana Casa collection and items from its perfume and beauty products line.

But the label has a more ambitious project in Riyadh, building on the mega-development of Diriyah, located on the outskirts of the capital and considered to be the nation’s historical and cultural cradle. While Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have seen the opening of countless luxury boutiques, this is not the case in Saudi Arabia, which initiated this change of direction at a later date through the “Vision 2030” project promoted since 2016 by Crown Prince Mohammed ben Salmane (MBS), with massive investments at its disposal, and in which tourism is one of the pillars.

In Diriyah, in particular near the UNESCO World Heritage site of At-Turaif, the Bujairi Terrace complex is under construction, with restaurants, large hotels and boutiques. This is the destination that Dolce & Gabbana is targeting. The company has just announced a partnership with local developer Diriyah Gate Company to develop a 2,000-square-metre flagship.

“This innovative space, which will be inaugurated by the end of the year, brings together the different souls of the brand, offering visitors a 360° experience of the Dolce & Gabbana universe: from ready-to-wear to accessories, from jewellery to beauty, right through to the Casa line. At the centre of the space is also the Dolce & Gabbana Café, a contemporary lounge bar designed to embody the essence of Italian conviviality,” says the brand.

On its website, Diriya Company also states that the label “will also launch an exclusive section of abayas, available only in the Bujairi Terrace location, highlighting the brand’s commitment to diversity and cultural inclusion.” Since 2016, the two designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been offering “modest fashion” collections in their range, comprising abayas, hijabs, scarves and accessories aimed at customers in the Gulf.

There are also plans to develop a hotel project on site. For the moment, the label has no further details to offer on this last aspect. But this further diversification in the region is in line with Dolce & Gabbana’s strategy to enter the real estate sector with several operations around the world. It launched two major residential projects in Marbella, Spain, with Sierra Blanca Estates, and in Miami, USA, with JDS Development Group, as well as a hotel project in the Maldives with Saudi property developer DarGlobal, to which should be added the Bujairi Terrace in Diriyah.

Via The Fashion Network

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