Dubai’s jeweller to the stars predicts luxury rebound after coronavirus

The luxury jewellery market is expected to bounce back strongly following the crippling impacts of coronavirus on the industry, according to Pascal Mouawad, co-guardian and head of the retail division for jewellers-to-the stars, Dubai and Geneva-based Mouawad group.

After what he described as “bad years” for the industry from 2016 through to 2019, Mouawad said the company was approaching 2020 with a degree of optimism.

Dubai-based Mouawad jewellery to expand to Asia Pacific by 2021

Mouawad’s retail sales rose 20% in 2019 compared to 2018, said Pascal Mouawad

“I figured, you know, 2020 would possibly be that year where things would get better, the economy would get better, the market would get stronger, and sure enough for the first month or so we saw the market getting stronger and the signs of recovery were pretty apparent,” he told Arabian Business.

And then came coronavirus; lockdowns, curfews, movement restrictions and border closures.

Mouawad said the gold sector in the UAE plunged 85 percent and he admitted that, while limited sales were made “here and there”, he said the market was “frozen for that time period”.

Mouawad is one of three brothers running the fourth generation family business famous for its A-list celebrity clientele and Guinness World Records. It’s exceptional pieces have been worn by the likes of the UK’s Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, Gigi Hadid, Jane Fonda and Paris Hilton.

Pascal Mouawad, co-guardian and head of the retail division for jewellers-to-the stars, Dubai and Geneva-based Mouawad group.

Despite the setback from the coronavirus, Mouawad is confident he has already witnessed a resurgence in the industry.

He said: “Everything came to a halt but I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel, there’s more stability, we’re seeing some recovery at this time.

“We have made some sales and we are seeing a slight recovery in purchases. The demand is coming back. It’s on the rise but people are still cautious because the pandemic is not over yet.”

And he believes the recovery will continue.

“I don’t think luxury is going to go away at this time and post the pandemic,” he said. “If anything it’s going to increase, you always want to give a luxury gift to your loved one so I see the trend going back up in terms of demand.”

The company currently operates seven boutique stores across the GCC. In an interview with Arabian Business at the start of the year, Mouawad revealed plans to expand into the Asian Pacific in 2021. And he said this was still very much on the cards.

“Our goal is to look at 2021 and to go to new markets and continue to have a very strong foothold in our home markets in the GCC.

“In terms of the GCC we have a good presence. Our store count is the right count for us and the plan is to move to Asian markets and do exhibitions and build our customer base via this method.”

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