Forget Apple Watch: UAE retains top 10 ranking in Swiss watch imports

Swiss watch imports into UAE rise 8.9% to Dh3.84bn

By 24/7 Staff



In 2014, the Swiss watch industry maintained a figure of 22.2 billion francs in yearly global exports and sustained an annual growth rate of 1.9 per cent. (Reuters)


Even as Apple Watch is set to be launched in the UAE in a few days from now, UAE continues to uphold its Top 10 ranking in the import of Swiss watches, showing a substantial growth of 8.9 per cent in 2014 over the previous 12 months.

According to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry’s cumulative 2014 reports, the UAE still dominates the region’s timepiece imports at a value of 1 billion Swiss francs (Dh3.84 billion).

The year showed exports to Asia accounting for over half the Swiss watch global export shares at 54 per cent, with Middle Eastern markets including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait in the top 30 global ranks, comprising a substantial 9.5 per cent of the total value.

Following a steady increase of 5 per cent in units compared to the previous year, 2014 figures show 2,973,016 exported units of wristwatches to the Middle East. This growth cements the Middle East as the second highest regional importer after other European countries.

Mohammed Abdulmagied Seddiqi, Vice President of Sales and Retail, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, said: “The UAE continues to maintain its position as one of the world’s top luxury retail destinations with a consistent demand for Swiss watchmaking expertise… Both existing collectors and a new generation of watch enthusiasts are driving the continued growth of Swiss watches in the Emirates, and we expect this trend to continue in 2015.”

In 2014, the Swiss watch industry maintained a figure of 22.2 billion francs in yearly global exports and sustained an annual growth rate of 1.9 per cent. The ranks of global Swiss watch export distributions in 2014 were dominated by Hong Kong, USA, China, Japan, Italy, Germany, Singapore, France and the United Kingdom.

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