Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tag Heuer eyes UAE expansion

Dubai: Swiss luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer, known for its mid-high range sports watches and chronographs, is planning to open a second boutique in Dubai soon to increase its presence in the UAE market.

Tag Heuer president and chief executive officer Jean-Christophe Babin said they aim to root the brand in the UAE's local community and might increase the number of boutiques to four in the next five years.

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry has ranked the UAE as the largest market for Swiss watches in the Middle East, with imports surging almost 40 per cent to Dh157 million in October, the highest in the region.

Saudi Arabia came second, with imports valued at Dh40 million in October, followed by Kuwait, with Dh24.5 million.

Market share

Tag Heuer enjoys a 12 per cent share of the luxury watch market worldwide. In the UAE, the brand claims a six per cent share and expects to triple the business in the next four or five years. "We doubled our business in the last two years. So we want to triple it in the next four. We are very much determined to make it happen," Babin told Gulf News.

Aside from cashing in on major celebrities to endorse its watches, Tag Heuer has also poured in more investments to beef up its marketing campaign in the UAE and capture the attention of local residents.

"If you drive around the city, you can see more big billboards of Tag Heuer and it is even more evident in the local media. This also helps the brand to root itself within the local community, not only among tourists flying to Dubai, stopping over for two days and then flying off again," said Babin.

"The UAE market is pretty sophisticated. It's a rather high-end market. And we've been for the last few years outperforming the market growth," he added.

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