Over the past four years, Dubai has hosted an annual Arab Luxury World conference in which 80 business leaders come together to form panels and discuss challenges and opportunities facing the industry. The summit is also attended by 600 participants, such as retailers, media agencies and distributors, all of whom come directly from the luxury market. The 2018 Arab Luxury World conference will span two days, 8th and 9th May, and will host sessions on over 20 different subjects relating to the luxury climate. The goal is to educate and engage dialogue which can help every listener navigate their respective fields in the future as well as pay tribute to the big names that are helping sustain the luxury business in politically and economically tumultuous times.

Indeed, the geopolitical climate will be a focal talking point during the two-day conference. The past year has seen massive potential for Saudi Arabia’s position in globalisation; Mohammad bin Salman, the country’s Crown Prince, has openly lobbied for domestic reforms in order to accommodate international interest in the local economy. Further interest has also been placed in the increasing autonomy of women in the Middle-East, especially in those who are contributing to the arts, culture and fashion and are thus introducing new perspectives on their overall culture. Expect panels to also cover the much-discussed spending power of China’s high-net worth Millennial, a type of consumer who is shaking up retail trends all over the world.  

Technology will additionally be a major topic of interest at the conference. It has the ability to create communities, alter lifestyle habits and educate at the swipe of a finger. Yes, the discourse on digital is far from new, and yet with the rising influence of AI, VR and IoT, brick-and-mortar stores are under growing  pressure to transform consumer engagement. Businesspeople and creatives are tasked with the challenge of sustaining the luxury retail experience and accommodating the online wave of consumer practices. The controversial topic of social media will be explored, especially in the misuse of influencers and bots which has threatened reputations and challenged perception of authenticity. Experts in marketing are also recommended to attend discussions on data-sourcing and how to navigate signals in quantitative information.

The Arab Luxury World conference, because it means to educate and inform, also invites students to voice their opinions and perspectives on the luxury industry. Every year, the organisation hosts a Student Competition, in which young observers of the luxury world submit reports on the challenges facing the market. Once evaluated by a jury of professors and industry experts, selected finalists and staff from their respective schools are flown to Dubai where they will present their research to a panel of judges.

For more information about the Student Competition, the panels and the overall conference, please click here to visit the official Arab Lucy World website.