Dubai Corporate Games celebrates 17th year with record-breaking turnout

The Dubai Corporate Games returns for its 17th edition, promising the largest event to date with an impressive lineup of participants and activities.A total of 55 esteemed companies, including industry giants such as Google, Amazon, Chalhoub Group, and Nakheel, among others, have rallied over 7000 individuals for a two-day extravaganza of sports and camaraderie.Attendees will indulge in a diverse array of activities, spanning from classic favourites like football, tennis, and basketball to more unique offerings such as padel, dragon boat racing, and gaming competitions. Notably, the event boasts 68 football teams, engaging in a staggering 116 games, with a commendable representation of 5 women’s teams. Additionally, 48 men’s and ladies' basketball teams will vie for victory, alongside a remarkable 360 entries for padel enthusiasts.This year's event is generously supported by esteemed headline sponsors, including Transmed, Emirates Snack Food, IFFCO Group, and Oasis Water, underscoring the significance of corporate engagement and community spirit. Other notable sponsors include ITP, American Hospital Dubai, RECAPP, and Channel 4.The action-packed festivities will unfold on February 24th and 25th at ISD Dubai Sports City, commencing at 8 am and concluding at 9 pm. Spectators are warmly invited to join in the excitement and cheer on their favourite teams as they vie for glory in this celebration of athleticism and teamwork.

GCC luxury re-commerce market to grow 10-15% by 2026

Chalhoub Group today published its comprehensive circularity report, entitled ‘Circular Fashion Potential in the GCC’. The report is the first of its kind in the region and delves into the evolving landscape of circular fashion while highlighting consumer behaviours as well as the potential and growing trends within the luxury re-commerce sector in the GCC.The report is part of Chalhoub Group’s efforts to integrate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles into its business model and target to achieve Net Zero by 2040. The research reveals key regional insights while highlighting the transformative shift in the convergence of sustainability with luxury, leading to the evolvement of consumer choices and industry norms.Estimated at USD480-500 million in 2022, the GCC luxury re-commerce market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% to 15%, reaching USD 760-780 million by 2026. The largest luxury segment in value is watches (accounting for about 50% of the market size), followed by jewellery (16%), handbags (13%), apparel (12%), and footwear (10%).Consumers show a significant shift towards circularity along all price levels, with one-third of GCC consumers having already purchased pre-loved items, and another third planning to do so. The most sought-after categories that consumers purchased in the past 12 months, include bags (20%), watches (18%), and jewellery (16%). The driving factors behind these purchases lead with affordability (43%), followed by investment potential (42%), and access to limited editions (40%). Additionally, 70% of consumers stated having resold items in the past year, mainly to make money (42%) and finance new purchases (41%).In terms of purchasing channels, online and offline prove to be almost equally important, with 58% mainly online purchasers. For clothes, shoes, and bags, peer-to peer platforms are amongst the top channels of choice, while specialist retailers are chosen for watches. When it comes to non-purchasers, concerns about authenticity (39%) and item conditions (39%) represent the top two key barriers to buying pre-loved items. Furthermore, GCC consumers seem more inclined to re-sell than to purchase pre-loved items (31%). Three out of four respondents revealed that they have re-sold fashion items in the last year, and a similar number, 73%, consider the re-sale value before purchasing a luxury item.Patrick Chalhoub, Group President at Chalhoub Group said: “Sustainability remains at the heart of our operations and our Circularity Report is more than an analysis; it reflects our ongoing commitments to embracing more sustainable business models as we aim for our Net Zero target by 2040. We will continue to stress the importance of alignment among policy makers, regulators, brands, retailers, and customers as we keep our focus at the initiative level driven by interested brands and consumer affinity.”Florence Bulte, Chief Sustainability Officer commented: “Our comprehensive research spanning the entire GCC region underscores the importance of circularity in the fashion sector, an industry which accounts for approximately 10% of global CO2 emissions. By embracing sustainable business models and focusing on circular initiatives, we are responding to the increasing consumer demand, paving the way to Net Zero and actively embedding sustainability into the core of our business.”Andrea Fetzer, Strategy Director commented: “The report highlights the dynamics of the GCC re-commerce luxury market, valued at USD480-500 million in 2022 and projected to grow ~15% annually. This growth reflects evolving consumer behavior and an increasing adoption of circular business models by luxury brands and retailers globally. This is the first report of this kind done in the Middle East, leveraging desk research and data from publicly available sources, but also 15 interviews with key players in the ecosystem, along with a proprietary survey of 1,300 consumers across the GCC. At Chalhoub, we will leverage these insights to make informed business decisions, particularly in our experimentation with new business models for our brands, and to fortify our investment strategy.”

Chalhoub, LVMH, Emaar, Majid Al Futtaim, Aldar unite for sustainability

Chalhoub Group, LVMH, EMAAR Malls Management (L.L.C), Majid Al Futtaim Properties LLC, and Aldar Properties PJSC join forces to create “Unity For Change ” (pronounced UFQ in Arabic, meaning horizon and symbolizing the future), a pionneering partnership among prominent retailers and real estate developers in the Emirates. This alliance is dedicated to defining and achieving sustainability targets.The first partnership of its kind in the Middle East retail sector, between the five leading industry players, focuses on energy efficiency, clean energy, eco-design, water, and waste management, demonstrating a strong commitment to environmental responsibility and achieving each of the parties’ Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals.This initiative reflects how to reduce the carbon and biodiversity footprints of the retail sector, with all entities intending to negotiate and execute a formal agreement within the next year.The cooperation specifically aims to enhance understanding and management of energy consumption across the entities’ properties, tenant stores, and landlords’ common areas, while also developing a comprehensive eco-design checklist, polling resources for clean energy purchases to optimize energy consumption, cooperating in chilled water management and air conditioning to enhance efficiency, as well as other initiatives. Additionally, there will be concerted efforts to research green concrete usage to achieve recycling objectives.Patrick Chalhoub, Group President at Chalhoub Group, commented: “In 2022, the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) validated our short-term carbon reduction goals. Achieving these targets requires collaborative efforts and I firmly believe in the power of collective action towards a common goal. We are pleased to collaborate with our partners to enhance our sustainability impact, setting clear objectives for both malls and retail operations. This first of its kind agreement marks the beginning of future partnerships aimed at ensuring a sustainable and resilient future for all.”Antoine Arnault, LVMH Image & Environment, said: “Our 5,600 stores around the world create experiences for our customers that we strive to make as exceptional and as unforgettable as possible. The excellence of our stores extends to their environmental performance. To do so, we need to collaborate with landlords. After having signed a first partnership with Hang Lung in China in 2022, LVMH is proud to sign this second agreement with local partners in the United Arab Emirates. In the context of COP28, this agreement highlights our strong commitment to fighting climate change.”An Emaar Malls Management spokesperson said: "Our participation in this sustainability taskforce further demonstrates our unwavering commitment to environmental and social responsibility in the retail sector. We are focusing on fostering sustainable practices, emphasising the importance of energy efficiency, eco-responsible design, and responsible use of resources. This collaboration is another component of our strategic plan to seamlessly integrate sustainable solutions into our business operations, demonstrating our commitment to cultivating a sustainable future for our communities and stakeholders."Ahmed El Shamy, Chief Executive Officer Majid Al Futtaim Properties, said: “This partnership enhances and accelerates our existing efforts to reach our ambitious target to produce more energy and water than we consume, reaching Net Positive by 2040. We are proud to be a part of this shared commitment, aiming to set a new global standard in sustainable practices and achievements as it relates to retail landlord and tenant collaboration.”Faisal Falaknaz, Chief Financial and Sustainability Officer at Aldar, said: “A key part of Aldar’s science-aligned net zero plan is to decarbonize our retail spaces and other commercial assets. This involves us actively engaging our supply chain and tenants to support their own transition to net zero. The partnership we have announced today provides a framework for Aldar to work closely with an important group of fellow industry leaders who share our commitment to creating environmentally friendly retail spaces that benefit developers, tenants, and our customers.”The joint sectoral partnership between the five parties highlights their commitment to working as a collective unit towards their ambitious goals, and marks a testament to each of their commitments to enhancing their sustainable practices and set a new standard for environmental stewardship in the Middle East’s retail sector.

Ghawali from house of Chalhoub Group launches its new fragrance

Ghawali, a Chalhoub Group brand focusing on developing oriental niche scents, launched its new fragrance “9PM in Saudi” at its flagship store in Riyadh. Launched ahead of KSA National Day and in line with the brand’s efforts to support and empower local talent, 9PM in Saudi was launched in partnership with numerous local photographers, designers, and artists, with the latest scent celebrating Saudi Arabia’s dynamic culture and the local community during their busiest time of day.To empower local talent, Ghawali collaborated with numerous young Saudis including local photographer, Designless, who shot the overall 9PM in Saudi fragrance campaign, Saudi designer, PROUD Angeles, who created the fragrance’s capsule collection, and Saudi 4D artist, Amr Khaled, who did an original Instagram Reel for Saudi National Day.Forat Al Haider, Head of Beauty Innovation at Chalhoub Group, said: “We are proud to launch Ghawali’s new fragrance, 9PM in Saudi, which is a sensorial ode and celebration of Saudi culture and testament to the brand’s unwavering dedication to empowering local Saudi talent. This collaborative initiative epitomises a community-driven endeavour where we have created a platform for local creatives to showcase their work while paying homage to the Kingdom’s ambiance. The scent, a sensorial innovation, starts with sophisticated lychee as a top note, sitting above an umbrella of incense which contains two high-end versions of oud. Ghawali’s 9PM in Saudi fragrance encapsulates the soul, vibe and mood of Saudi Arabia while proudly fostering the growth and prominence of homegrown talents.”The launch of Ghawali’s latest 9PM in Saudi fragrance took place across an exclusive two-day event with VIPs, key customers, and leading media invited to discover the new scent and meet the capsule collection designer. Attendees also had the opportunity to have a one-on-one session with the brand’s creative director who delved into the capitvating story behind the perfume and its carefully selected ingredients.

Chalhoub Group acquires majority stake in Threads Styling

Chalhoub Group  today announced its successful acquisition of a majority stake in Threads Styling, the London based digital luxury retailer and personal shopping platform. Chalhoub Group acquired all shares of Threads Styling, with the exception of shares owned by its Founder and CEO, Sophie Hill.Threads Styling goes above and beyond traditional retail to offer a unique social-first personal shopping service through social platforms and chat-based commerce. Threads creates market leading style content to inspire Millennial and Gen Z clients across its channels including Instagram, Snap and TikTok where Threads successfully positions itself as an authentic voice in fashion.This partnership reinforces Chalhoub Group’s digital acceleration drive and investment in digital platforms, expands its existing online ecosystem, and brings new capabilities and opportunities for customer engagement and personalization. Chalhoub Group’s deep customer and market knowledge combined with Threads Styling’s high-touch customer experience and online presence will provide outstanding experience to consumers and brand partners and offer exciting developments ahead. Commenting on the acquisition, Sharmila Murat, Chief Investment Officer at Chalhoub Group said: “This partnership is a key milestone in our strategy to expand our digital presence and global reach, while staying focused on delivering exceptional experiences for our luxury consumers, and inspiring and influencing a global audience through innovative and engaging digital content.”Sophie Hill, Founder and CEO of Threads Styling, said: “We are excited to partner with Chalhoub Group to further strengthen our proposition within the GCC. We have such a loyal customer base in the region and with Chalhoub Group’s presence in the market we have a unique opportunity to enhance our capabilities and continue Threads Styling’s journey alongside a strategic partner”.Rothschild & Co acted as financial advisor and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as legal counsel to Chalhoub Group. Broadgate Advisors acted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins as legal counsel to Threads Styling. Threads Styling will continue to operate as an independent entity under Sophie Hill’s leadership.