Friday, June 09, 2023 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
 Joey Aguilar
Joey Aguilar
Joey Aguilar has been a journalist since 2013 at Gulf Times, reporting on events related to Qatar. He was earlier a journalist for eight years in the Philippines. He became one of the 2015 United Nations Foundation Global Goals Press Fellows. He has also attended a number of journalism seminars in the Philippines.
The 19th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition is concluding today at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Extraordinary craftsmanship and creativity at DJWE

Extraordinary craftsmanship and creativity continue to attract a huge number of visitors to the 19th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE), which concludes Saturday at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.The key event in Qatar’s annual social calendar is poised to become the biggest luxury show in the world.From pearls, precious gemstones, and ornaments to high-end timepieces, DJWE offers lovers of luxury an array of exquisite pieces from more than 500 renowned brands.“The previous DJWE was the first exhibition after the (Covid-19) pandemic period so everybody was very excited. During the current edition, many people are coming late, mostly after 7pm, and they try to concentrate and buy over the last two to three days,” Italian jeweller Filippo Picchiotti told Gulf Times.Filippo is one of the sons of Giuseppe, founder of Picchiotti Fine Jewellery, a family-owned company and a major jeweller in Italy since 1967. He finds Qatar and the region, particularly with the staging of the annual DJWE, an important market for jewellery due to people’s interest and passion for fine and large pieces.“The market here is excellent because there is a limited number of people with a great power of purchasing, they appreciate the quality, understand the product, and besides that, this show (DJWE) also attracts (nationals) from neighbouring countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, so it is a very important show,” Filippo said.The brand, located at the Alfardan pavilion, is showcasing one of its special items at the exhibition – a one-of-a-kind sapphire and diamond collection – which he said has a layout of a heart-shape sapphire of approximately 90 carats in total.Besides, Filippo said the brand is also introducing a new collection that features pieces with a combination of colours and new in the market, receiving a good response since the first day of the exhibition.“You don’t see of it too much around. Even if it is a colourful item, it is always in our very classic style so people appreciate this combination: between classic and also a little bit more artistic,” he noted. “These are statement pieces, something not for daily use.”Qatari jewellery designer and Leila Issam Fine Jewellery founder Leila Abu Issa, who is also part of the Qatari Designers initiative this year, shares the same view as she cited the huge popularity of DJWE and the country as a luxury destination.One of the most visited areas at the 33,000sqm venue is the Alfardan pavilion as it hosts local and several internationally renowned brands such as Noudar, Al Tawash, Tiffany & Co, Chopard, and Vacheron Constantin, among others.

Leila Abu Issa showcases her Nostalgia collection at DJWE 2023. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar
Qatar, the best place to launch collections: jewellery designer

Qatari jewellery designer Leila Abu Issa, a participant in a number of regional and international exhibitions, says that the home country is the best place to launch her latest collections.“As usual, we always launch our collections here at the exhibition (Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition). I’m always happy to launch a collection especially for Qatar, always my special place,” the Leila Issam Fine Jewellery founder and owner told Gulf Times.She finds the DJWE 'the best jewellery exhibition in the world' to showcase her exquisite pieces, alongside other local designers and internationally-renowned jewellery brands.Besides DJWE’s growing popularity, Leila Abu Issa said she is thankful to be part of the Qatari Designers initiative – a platform that gives Qatar’s most recognised contemporary jewellery and watch brands a springboard to elevate their businesses.“I am very grateful for this (initiative), it really gives us the opportunity to present our collection to a very big and important audience. There are a lot of connoisseurs and people who really know what they are looking for, and what they are buying, as well as being next to all these very international and established brands,” Abu Issa said. “It’s an honour, really a great exposure, there’s a lot to learn here”.Leila Abu Issa is showcasing what she describes as 'a very nostalgic collection,' named ‘Nostalgia’ at DJWE 2023, and it is bringing back the lockets – created in a modern way.“We have special messages engraved in them, some set with diamonds, others set with different stones. They are beautifully and well designed, and quite modern and light, and inside, you have these special messages that are beautiful for gifts,” she said. “The messages can either be personalised or ready-made”.Leila Issam Fine Jewellery also likes to work with coloured stones, producing two different collections: “We have one that has been there since the beginning, these ones with the pink sapphires.“We (also) have this collection that was inspired by an exhibition in Milan, it is all about water so it includes pearls, including Tahitian and Rice pearls, and Columbian emeralds.”About pearls and other Arab –inspired jewellery, Abu Issa said she is glad that these pieces, which reflect Qatar and the region’s rich culture and history, have become trendy once again.“I absolutely love pearls and it is also a big part of our heritage. We have these baroque pearls encrusted with sapphires and golds, they are very popular pieces, one of our bestsellers. I feel like, for a while, it stopped being trendy but now it’s back and reinforced," she added.

Shelley at her booth.
Shelley & Co brings 'Convertible' collection to DJWE

Shelley & Co has returned to the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) this year with special pieces under its ‘Convertible’ collection: ornaments that can be worn as high jewellery and daily wear. The brand, owned by Shelley Kabilu, is a leading expert, source, supplier and manufacturer of natural fancy colour diamonds to the global diamond and jewellery industry.“This year I am showcasing pieces that have duality. Our Convertible jewellery collection includes pink diamond rings that can be converted into necklaces. Both elegant and chic, these pieces can be understated and magnificent at the same time,” Shelley told 'Gulf Times'.Besides Convertible, Shelley is also presenting a number of other classic collections at her booth at the Almajed pavilion at the 19th edition of DJWE, concluding tomorrow (Saturday) at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre. She said the Yellow Diamond daily wear, and high jewellery collections are getting lots of attention and requests and 'there is something for everyone' given the price range.“The Pink Diamond jewellery collection has been loved by our clients, who come to us especially for these pieces. We have a 2-carat Cushion Cut Blue Diamond Ring on display for a client who wants something one of a kind,” she said.Shelley also debuts its new Constellation Rose collection at DJWE 2023, a daily wear collection that is modern and a combination of her love of roses, and the galaxy. She noted that her Solitaire collection is “a staple, beautiful diamond studs, and features solitaire rings and pendants with a variety of diamond shapes, sizes, and price ranges."“We customise, and give personal attention to our clients in search for the perfect diamonds for their solitaire needs. These pieces have been made with love and attention to detail with a unique and timeless look and feel.“I am a perfectionist so if I am not happy with a piece during production, I will keep remaking it until I am happy with the end result. I am also extremely picky when it comes to sourcing diamonds and gems. Which shows, and is felt when the pieces are being worn,” Shelley said.She cited the brand’s growing popularity especially post Covid-19 pandemic, noting there have been new collections inspired by client requests and trends. Shelley is also looking forward to opening a retail store in Doha at some point in the future.About DJWE, she said the latest edition has been exciting and “to be here after the World Cup, seeing Doha become a destination to visit. I was here for the finals and it was amazing!"

The DJWE is on the right path to become the biggest jewellery and watches show in the world, says Alfardan Group chairman Hussain Ibrahim Alfardan. PICTURE: Feroze Ahmed.
DJWE set to be world's biggest: Hussain Alfardan

The Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) is on the right path to become the biggest jewellery and watches show in the world, Alfardan Group chairman Hussain Ibrahim Alfardan has said.“That is our direction and it is within reach,” he told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the 19th DJWE Wednesday.Alfardan underscored the growing popularity of the annual luxury event, which brings together more than 500 brands from around the world at the Doha Exhibition and Conbrowsevention Centre’s 33,000 sqm area.He cited DJWE’s increasing number of participants annually, featuring the biggest names and most prominent jewellers who showcase rare and exquisite pieces. The event, he pointed out, has been attracting many of the most affluent visitors from the region and internationally.“We are here since 50 years or more, established the exhibition and we grew up with it and the number of exhibitors increases every year. We expect it will grow much bigger in the future,” he said.Renowned brands from Qatar and around the world set up large showcases at DJWE. Many have introduced new brands, limited edition collections, and exceptional showpieces.This year’s big nine at DJWE are Alfardan Jewellery, Ali Bin Ali Luxury, Al Majed Jewellery, Al Muftah Jewellery, Amiri Gems, Bulgari, Blue Salon, Fifty One East, and Louis Vuitton.The DJWE is also presenting pieces that reflect Qatar’s rich culture and heritage, especially natural pearls, which are displayed at Al Tawash, located in the heart of the Alfardan pavilion.The Alfardan Group chairman said the demand for natural pearls in Qatar and globally has remained robust despite the increasing popularity of other precious stones such as ruby, emerald, and sapphire, among others.“This (natural pearl) is a precious stone, it has value and the value remains, always there is a big demand for it, and the market is very strong now, moving to the highest value in the market,” said Alfardan, who is considered a leading expert and authority on the natural pearl not only in the Gulf but in the world.“Everybody recognise that the natural pearl will exist forever, last forever... it is natural, there is a market for it,” he noted, adding that Alfardan Jewellery is the best and biggest supplier of natural pearls in the global market.The company, he noted, has started a partnership with Tiffany & Co in the pearl jewellery business. The Tiffany & Co booth is located at the Alfardan pavilion, featuring an array of exquisite unique pieces.The annual DJWE, Alfardan said, puts a spotlight on Arab-inspired jewellery and timepieces – produced and designed by local, regional, and international brands. Their unique designs have become appealing to many, prompting designers to create more.“We are (continuously) improving the designs and adding beauty to it," he said, noting that they created a special section for such pieces.

The Piranesi brand is renowned for its rare and exotic stones, unique jewelry designs, and statement pieces, delivering timeless luxury from generation to generation. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar
Piranesi Infinity Ring - 'Truly one of a kind'

Piranesi is presenting its latest and rare jewellery piece – the Piranesi Infinity Ring – at the 19th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE).Speaking to Gulf Times, Piranesi managing director Julian Hajibay describes the ‘Piranesi Infinity Ring’ as the brand’s “absolute most” and just under 30carat beautiful blue sapphire ring.“It is called Infinity Ring because when you look at it, it’s a beautiful transparent sapphire set on a bed of pave diamonds.“Our brand is very unique. My mother Mimi is currently in New York designing, she designs all the pieces from a woman’s point of view so all the pieces are feminine and delicate... and she has a beautiful eye for colour and craftsmanship.“So when you combine the two together you get something like the Piranesi Infinity Ring that is truly one of a kind, and she belongs in a museum, never anywhere else in the world will you see that calibre,” he said.Located at DJWE’s Alfardan pavilion, Piranesi is also showcasing 10 different collections, ranging from Boutique and going all the way up to its Masterpiece.Hajibay said Piranesi’s Boutique collection features a mix of round and oval colour gemstones from orange, blue, pink, and yellow sapphires and tsavorite garnets, among others.“We also have beautiful turquoise, natural sapphires, natural rubies, emeralds from Columbia, beautiful yellow diamonds, also we have a beautiful Cabochon collection, it is very special. All the gemstones are completely rounded, no facets, which is very unique to find,” he pointed out.Hajibay said the company’s clientele always has a passion for luxury and appreciation for fine gemstones and a brand like Piranesi.“The beautiful part of our jewellery is that it is timeless, and it spans across many cultures. My family history dates back to 1845 in the business and they’ve lived in the Middle East, they’ve lived in Europe, now we are based in America so you’ll see a little bit of a flavour from every single culture in all of our collections."The Piranesi brand is renowned for its rare and exotic stones, unique jewelry designs, and statement pieces, delivering timeless luxury from generation to generation.“We are very excited about this show it is our second year exhibiting and so far the response has been tremendous, and we look forward to welcoming everybody at the Piranesi booth to show our wonderful collections,” he said.

The award-winning ‘Thorn’ motif, originally inspired by Tattoo art in Rio some 25 years ago, can now be seen across various Stephen Webster collections.
Stephen Webster presents Thorn Embrace at DJWE 2023

British Fine Jewellery Stephen Webster marked “a new era of modern romance” as it showcases its latest collection ‘Thorn Embrace’ at the 19th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE).“The Thorn design has to be one of my personal favourites, always unisex with an unquestionable edge. Thorn Embrace really takes it to a new level of desirability with the addition of a magnetic combination of two pear shapes coming together, perfectly signifying a completed heart. How New Romantic is that?” Webster said in a press statement.Originally inspired by Tattoo art in Rio some 25 years ago, the award-winning ‘Thorn’ motif can be viewed across various Stephen Webster collections – currently displayed at DJWE’s Alfardan pavilion at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.Driven by this long addiction with the ‘thorn’, Stephen Webster noted that “the latest collection depicts Hollywood glamour, featuring an exciting colour palette of stones.“Focusing on the often forgotten classic gem-cut, the pear shape, this darkly romantic collection includes dramatic pairings of Diamonds, Emeralds, Spinels, Tanzanites, Tourmalines, and Garnets, across a range of Studs, Hoops, and Drop Earrings, Bridal and Cocktail Rings, Chokers, Pendants and Bracelets."The exquisite pieces are all crafted in 18ct recycled gold and adorned with black or white Diamond pavé. Adding the latest Webster twist of innovation and technology, Thorn Embrace also features a magnetic mechanism embedded in the setting, allowing the stones to be ‘embraced together’."Stephen Webster presented its Vertigo collection – an addition to the ‘Altered Perspective’ trilogy – during the 17th edition of DJWE, receiving huge interest from the Qatar market.Stephen Webster is one of the most prominent jewellery designers of his generation. Celebrated for his fearless creativity, traditional craftsmanship and commitment to sustainable ethical production, Stephen Webster’s eponymous brand has won-industry-wide recognition and coveted by icons and idols.

Purnima Sheth showcases Rose's latest jewellery pieces. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Indian jeweller Rose launches new collection at DJWE

Rose, one of India’s leading jewellery houses, is launching its Rocks N Rose fine jewellery collection at the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition's (DJWE) Alfardan Jewellery pavilion.Featuring unique and exquisite pieces, Rose founder and senior sales director – Luxury Purnima Sheth told Gulf Times that the jeweller will be exhibiting its iconic Colours of Life and Opera collections, as well as Rocks N Rose that combines 1 carat solitaires with colour stones and coloured gold in a unique Rose way."These statement pieces are perfect for daily wear and can be dressed up and down depending on the occasion. We look forward to an exciting DJWE that will surpass all our expectations. After a tremendous response and welcome by the Qatari people, Rose has now launched four shops in Doha in partnership with Alfardan," she said.About the opportunities during and after the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of the design of pieces/collection, sales, expansion, and target clients, Sheth said: “The Covid-19 pandemic gave us a lot of time to regroup and rethink our strategies. Ever since, we have launched a collection of fine jewellery and expanded our footprint with four shops in Doha and one in Dubai, along with our partners Alfardan. These have helped us grow almost 50% since pre Covid levels.”The 42-year-old company from India has been participating in the DJWE as part of the Alfardan Group in the last nine years. Apart from its two retail stores for jewellery in Mumbai and Delhi, Rose also operated a multi-brand watch store in Mumbai.“This is the first year DJWE will be back in February since 2020 and we are very optimistic and excited about the turnout and sales,” Sheth added.

For more than 40 years, the Robert Wan Group has been internationally developing its activity around the Tahitian Pearl, constantly improving the quality of these unique gems and pursuing ultimate perfection.
Robert Wan unveils new collections at DJWE

Robert Wan, a global market leader for the most luxurious and beautifully-crafted Tahitian pearls, is revealing its new collection, inspired by Middle East trends and traditions at the 19th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE), which opened Monday.“The new collection, ‘Amulette’, the new timeless icon of extraordinary glamour is the perfect illustration of the delicate craftsmanship used in creating Robert Wan Fine Jewellery Collections. The Amulette collection pays tribute as well to the natural beauty of Polynesia using various pearls colours in mixed shape to highlight the beauty of the gem,” Robert Wan general manager Wafa Habbar said.As it encircles the neck, she said “the Amulette necklace reigns over the collection like a Queen. The set also comprises a pair of 18k gold earrings and a ring. Sparkles set defines the extraordinary, the elegance and the exoticness contrasting the smoothness of the pearl with the ridges of diamond, against feminine yellow or white gold”.For more than 40 years, the Robert Wan Group has been internationally developing its activity around the Tahitian Pearl, constantly improving the quality of these unique gems and pursuing ultimate perfection.Habbar said Robert Wan is presenting around six collections (including the Arab World-inspired Amulette) at the DJWE Alfardan pavilion, taking place at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre until February 25.About the Covid-19 pandemic challenges, she noted that the global health crisis in 2020 was challenging for all jewelers since “we don’t know what to expect, it’s hard to prevision our targets as the market is unusual.”“It also restricted us to take risks with creating high-end pieces. However, we have survived the pandemic, still alive with our beautiful pearls and very optimistic for the future,” said Habbar.She also lauded Qatar for successfully organising the FIFA World Cup 2022, saying “Doha hosted the World Cup perfectly and exceeded all expectations, so we believe that that market here will just get better”.

Gulf Times
PM inaugurates Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition

The 19th edition of the Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition (DJWE) kicked off Monday at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, showcasing limited-edition pieces and an extensive display of luxury collections from more than 500 brands.HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani inaugurated the exhibition and toured the pavilions, where he was briefed on the most prominent collections displayed by Qatari and international companies participating in DJWE. He was also briefed on the most important new designs of jewellery, watches and rare gemstones, Qatar News Agency reported.The opening ceremony was attended by a number of sheikhs and ministers, members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the State, senior officials and businesspersons, as well as representatives of the exhibiting companies.The ceremony was also attended by celebrities and famous personalities, including Irina Shayk, Nasser al-Attiyah, Mutaz Barsham and others.HE Sheikh Khalid toured the elegant pavilions created by Qatar’s leading jewellery brands and had a private viewing of some of their latest collections at DJWE – dubbed as the longest-running event in Qatar’s annual social calendar.Unique to DJWE’s latest edition is an auditory element to its campaign, featuring an exclusive musical score created by renowned Qatari composer Dana Alfardan.In a press statement, Qatar Tourism Chairman and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker said: “Over the past two decades, we’ve seen DJWE become the epitome of luxury and design, offering thousands of visitors a truly unforgettable experience. The combination of visitors being able to directly meet and interact with renowned designers and new participants like regional powerhouse Damas, will make this year’s edition even more of a success.”The six-day event, which brought together local and international designers under one roof, provides an opportunity for visitors to see an extensive display of luxury collections from more than 500 brands.Showcasing rare and exceptional jewellery and timepieces from the most prominent jewellers, Qatar Tourism stressed that DJWE proved to be “a one-of-a-kind and currently the region’s largest business-to-consumer show”.The event was organised by Qatar Tourism and Qatar Business Events Corporation with Qatar Airways as the Official Airline Partner and Qatar National Bank as the Official Sponsor.QNB Group’s Chief Business Officer Yousef Mahmoud al-Neama said: “QNB Group is proud of its participation as the Official Sponsor for the 19th edition of DJWE, which has become the mark of luxury in Qatar and the region.“Sponsoring this event, which established an annual tradition for the Bank, affirms our commitment to support national events and implement the Qatar National Vision 2030 aimed at diversifying the local economy.“In addition, our participation provides an important opportunity to position the QNB brand among the world’s finest luxury brands, while encouraging local talents. I wish the exhibition a great success, and all guests and participants a most rewarding and enjoyable time at this much-anticipated annual event.”Speaking on Education Above All Foundation’s (EAA) partnership series of “Designing With a Purpose” and their long-running collaboration with DJWE which featured jewellery brand partnerships in the past such as Chopard, Richard Mille, and now special designs by Valentino and Qatari jewelers for DJWE 2023, EAA’s Director of Partnerships, Parintaj Ankleshvria, said: “We appreciate the organisers of DJWE supporting EAA’s mission to transform lives through education.“Awareness and money raised from these unique jewellery collaborations will support EAA’s commitment to bringing new life chances, real hope and opportunities to improve the lives of poor and marginalised children, youth and women especially in the developing world through access to inclusive and equitable quality education.”Alfardan Group Vice-Chairman and Alfardan Jewellery President Ali Alfardan said: “Once again, Alfardan Jewellery will exhibit an unparalleled collection at the 19th edition of DJWE, highlighting unique and elegant gems and pieces, even from our very own Qatari brand. We thank all our customers and visitors for their encouragement as always.”Speaking on Ali Bin Ali Luxury’s participation in the region’s most important jewellery and watches exhibition, Ali Bin Ali Luxury COO Awn Zureikat said: “DJWE is truly a global platform for luxury brands, and it’s getting bigger every year. Ali Bin Ali Luxury is proud of its long-standing association with this landmark event, and we are glad to be a part of this success story, where creativity, exclusivity, art and beauty are all represented at this exhibition.On behalf Al Majed Jewellery, Al Majed Jewellery Vice-Chairman Jamil bin Mahdi al-Majed said: “We are very thrilled to participate in the 19th edition of DJWE and display the latest luxury brands for international and local brands.“This year’s edition of DJWE is special because it is taking place directly following the exceptional FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which represents a historical turning point for advancing the tourism sector, and the exhibition is an opportunity to host visitors from around the world to attend this distinguished festival.“In line with the traditions of previous editions, Al Majed Jewellery has established new exclusive partnerships with leading brands that will be unveiled during the exhibition in addition to the many brands that operate under the umbrella of Al Majed Jewellery and are achieving unique success in the Qatari market.”For his part, Fifty One East Chairman and Managing Director Bader al-Darwish said: “It gives us great pleasure to return to DJWE for its 19th edition. As longstanding supporters of the DJWE, we have proudly watched this event grow from strength to strength, asserting its status as a regional exhibition leader and shining a powerful light on Qatar’s importance as a destination for appreciators of fine jewellery and watches.“The trust we have built with the DJWE extends to the exceptional brands we represent, with some, such as Rolex, selecting it as the exclusive event besides Watches & Wonders - Geneva to display their latest creations.“We are sincerely pleased to welcome our dear clients to this year’s DJWE where they will be able to explore the latest novelties from the finest international brands, including pieces that are being revealed for the very first time in the world, coupled with our signature hospitality and excellent after-sales service.”Commenting on the participation of Amiri Gems, HE Sheikh Nawaf Nasser Bin Khaled al-Thani said: “Since its inception in 1994, Amiri Gems has actively participated in raising the level of jewelry and precious watches trade in the State of Qatar in proportion to the purchasing power of Qatari citizens, which is considered one of the highest in the world.“Hence, the decision to participate in the permanent annual participation in the DJWE, from its first edition to its 19th edition this year, was the ideal strategic choice for Amiri Gems to continue presenting everything new in the world of luxury, sophistication and beauty.“Finally, we would like to thank those in charge of managing the exhibition for their hospitality, management and development in a significant way, which contributes to increasing the success and reputation of the exhibition regionally and globally.”On behalf of Almuftah Jewellery, AlMuftah Group Chairman AbdulRahman AlMuftah said: “Almuftah Jewellery will showcase the most exquisite jewellery and watches from prominent brands around the world in this year’s DJWE. A picturesque display of the latest styles and designs will be featured. Catch the perfect piece and feel the elegance within you. Every year, I look forward to the DJWE as it comes with its influence and opportunities to meet a number of well-known people and brands in the field, especially that it brings together many names and brands under one roof.“Since 1984, it has been our pleasure to be part of your happy occasions through the presence of our jewellery. And today, we welcome you to the Almuftah Jewellery section at the DJWE 2023 to continue being part of your happy memories.“As always, we are honoured to present at Almuftah Jewellery a collection of luxurious and sophisticated jewellery and watches from many international brands this year, which we hope you will enjoy.”

EAA's ‘designing with a purpose’ partnerships aim to help millions of children and youth to have access to quality education (supplied picture).
EAA to reveal limited-edition Valentino accessories at DJWE

Education Above All (EAA) is set to reveal a limited-edition collection of Valentino accessories at the 19th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) – a new partnership that will give a large number of children access to quality education.“This year we are launching a very special collection by the House of Valentino, they are creating three-design jewellery accessories with an Educate A Child (EAC) programme logo, which is one of the programmes that work globally for education,” EAA’s Private Sector Partnerships director Parintaj Ankleshvira told a recent DJWE press conference.The annual event is scheduled to open to Monday at a 33,000 sq m area at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre and will run until February 25, featuring more than 500 jewellery and watches brands from around the globe.Qatar Tourism noted that the most prominent jewellers from Qatar and the world have set up large showcases at DJWE, many of which will be introducing new brands, limited edition collections and extraordinary showpieces.Ankleshvira noted that EAA so far has projects in more than 50 countries across the globe and it helped to get 14.4mn children and youth access to quality education.“These are children we hope to support for a very long time in the future and this is what these partnerships ‘designing with a purpose’ are meant for where major fashion and design houses create special collections, and parts of the proceeds of the sales are given to our education project.“So this year we are very happy to launch Valentino and in the past, we did Chopard, Richard Mille, and Hermes, which were our three collections done and in the 2023 exhibition we are showcasing the Valentino partnership,” she said.According to Ankleshvira, Valentino is creating three special design accessories (two bracelets and a pair of earrings): the classic collection, the V collection, and the V logo collection with a special EAC logo. Other details of the jewellery pieces will be revealed soon.Citing the success of EAA’s previous partnerships, she said these close collaborations not only helped raise funding for a project but also created “a Venice for those 60mn children who still need support in terms of getting access to quality education and that’s what EAA does”.“We create all these private sector partnerships to help support that goal. In terms of funding it depends on the campaign (it depends on each partnership, collection and brand). For example, these jewellery campaigns they go from anywhere from let’s say QR200,000 to QR1mn to QR2mn. The Richard Mille partnership raised almost QR8mn, about 2.5mn Euro,” Ankleshvira said.For the latest edition of the exhibition, EAA is showcasing about 30 pieces but will be launched at the Valentino store.“If you look at the impact that we are having, from our partnerships model, we’ve been able to, the cost of investment for putting one child into primary education, just one child is $125, which is a full primary education.“Imagine being able to educate one child for five years at a cost of $125. That’s the kind of impact you can have if you work with as many partnerships,” Ankleshvira added.

Rose's exquisite jewellery pieces.
DJWE 2023 begins Monday; 500 leading brands to feature

The 19th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) is set to open Monday at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, bringing together over 500 leading brands and an expected 30,000 visitors from around the world.DJWE 2023, under the patronage of HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani, will run until February 25 across a 33,000sq m area.“We are pleased to be able to bring together local talents, international designers, exhibitors, respected global brands, and jewellery aficionados who will have the chance to meet again under one roof to nurture creativity, network, discover and grow,” Qatar Tourism (QT) said in a statement.The latest edition of DJWE will also put a spotlight on local brands, under QT’s Qatari Designers’ initiative, which aims to nurture local and creative talents. These include Clair De Lune, De Trove, Ghand Jewellery, H Jewellery, Hessa Jewels, Leila Issam Fine Jewellery, Midad Jewellery, Nouf Jewellery, Swayra Jewellery, and Trifoglio.Ghand Jewellery told Gulf Times that the Qatari Designers’ initiative serves as a platform to showcase their unique pieces, as well as meet people, network, and “develop the designs knowing the market taste and their feedback. Additionally, it helps us to grow our business and get some B2B deals and opportunities.”The QT initiative has provided budding Qatari designers not only exposure and opportunities to debut and showcase their designs but also promote the country and the region's rich culture and heritage through their pieces.DJWE will also showcase a new collection of homegrown jewellery brand Noudar (meaning gold in ancient Arabic), featuring exquisite pieces inspired by the history and timeless legacy of natural pearls in Qatar.Noudar Jewels founder and designer Noor Ali Hussain Alfardan launched the brand in 2012 and the designs have been worn across the globe by the likes of Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, and Kendall Jenner.Besides Noudar, several other brands under the Alfardan pavilion will showcase their collections, including Rose, one of India’s leading jewellery houses; Piranesi, renowned for its rare and exotic stones, unique jewellery designs, and statement pieces; and Robert Wan, a market leader in Tahitian pearls; as well as Chopard, Tiffany, Vacheron Constatin, Marli, Sartoro, Girard-Perregaux, Noudar, Franck Muller, Chaumet, Persee Paris, Yeprem, and Corum.Qatar’s ‘favourite department store’, Fifty One East, will also display a number of unique collections at its pavilion at DJWE.According to QT, this year’s DJWE will see “the return of the Turkish and the Indian pavilions, with vibrant stalls featuring various brands and bespoke designs that each celebrate the unique heritage and culture of these countries”.The exhibition will also witness the debut of regional giant, Damas Jewellery, which is set to reveal its one-of-its-kind Alif collection, a selection of exceptional high-end pieces and unique jewellery creations.Louis Vuitton’s “Fantasy necklace,” a 2.56-carat Monogram flower-cut diamond representing a bold design, will also be unveiled for the first time at the event.Visitors will have the chance to experience the exceptional offerings at two of Qatar Duty Free’s most iconic cafés, Harrod’s Tea Rooms and Venchi, according to the organisers.Phillips, a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st-century art and design, is participating in this year’s DJWE. Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo holds the world record for the most successful watch auctions.

A pair of baguette diamonds cuff links in sterling silver by Ghand Jewellery.
DJWE 2023 to shine spotlight on Qatari designers

The 19th edition of the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition is set to shine a spotlight on Qatari designers, who will be showcasing an array of unique and Arab-inspired creations from February 20 to 25 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.A platform highlighting Qatar Tourism’s commitment to nurture local and creative talent, the Qatari Designers initiative is to feature their latest and exclusive collections.Established in 2017, the segment has provided some of Qatar’s most recognised contemporary jewellery and watch brands a springboard to elevate their businessesGhand Jewellery (Jawaher & Hissa Mohamed al-Mannai), among other Qatari designers, has confirmed its participation in the annual exhibition, which will bring together more than 500 jewellery and watch brands from around the world.“Beside our signature collections and the popular designs, we continued to expand on the jewellery by designing AlDana collection that has sophisticated details. Additionally, we invite our client and exhibition visitors to discover our new designs of luxury cuff links for men. Elegant and practical, crafted from elegant materials, these are the perfect accessory,” a Ghand Jewellery spokesperson told Gulf Times.Hairaat Jewellery founder Nada al-Sulaiti is one of the successful jewellery designers in Qatar who participated in the initiative as she established her own brand and takes part in DJWE every year.Al-Sulaiti exhibited a commissioned piece – the Sakura Necklace – in 2015, winning two global awards: ‘Merit Award in International Jewellery Design Excellence' (Hong Kong in 2017) and ‘Golden Award from A Design’.The DJWE provides an opportunity for Qatari jewellery designers to showcase their creativity and promote their work alongside renowned luxury brands, including this year’s big nine: Alfardan Jewellery, Ali Bin Ali Luxury, Al Majed Jewellery, Al Muftah Jewellery, Amiri Gems, Bulgari, Blue Salon, Fifty One East and Louis Vuitton.The latest edition of DJWE will feature several activations, giving visitors “an imagined luxury boutique environment as soon as they set foot through the door”.“Central to the activation will be the addition of the DJWE studio, a purpose-built studio on-site where numerous interviews with renowned jewellery and watch experts will take place. With content shared on YouTube, global audiences will be able to tap into the striking conversations and ideas being shared right here in Doha,” an organiser said.

Burwaz collection
High hopes for DJWE 2023, says Qatari lady designer

Renowned homegrown jewellery brand ‘Papillon’ will showcase its bridal collections and several other exquisite pieces that reflect Qatar’s rich culture and heritage at the 19th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE).“I have a lot of pieces to showcase during the DJWE but this year we are focusing more on the bridal sets (diamond, as well as traditional gold) special for the exhibition,” Papillon owner and designer Noora al-Ansari told a recent media event.Papillon is one of the more than 500 local and international jewellery and watch brands at the DJWE 2023, scheduled to take place from February 20 to 25 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.Some of the brand’s popular collections such as Dazzah and Solitaire offer jewellery diamond sets and traditional 21karat gold sets ranging from necklace, earrings, and bracelets, in addition to perfumes, oud, and saffron.Papillon showcased some of its popular collections in previous editions of DJWE, including the Royal collection. “Born in the heart of India”, the Royal collection was “inspired by the Maharajas and the classic designs that were first created for the greatest royal families in Europe.”Noora is known as the first Qatari designer who owned and opened a boutique in Qatar. Established in 2011, she said Papillon opened its first boutique at Gulf Mall in 2015 and has moved to the luxury section of Place Vendome.About opportunities during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Noora said the event allowed Papillon to promote not only its collections but also Qatar’s rich culture and tradition – highlighted in the design of its pieces.“For them (football fans from various parts of the globe), it was more of come and see, to understand our culture. I had a lot of collections that are part of our tradition, the 21karat traditional gold collection.“So they were just stopping by to understand what’s the idea behind the patterns, from where it (every jewellery piece) came, and most of them were more into looking into a nice simple pearl, pendant or earring because they knew that pearls are very much related to our culture and heritage,” al-Ansari said. “FIFA time was amazing, I had the chance to meet a lot of people from Germany, Mexico, Poland, so it was really a nice experience for us”.In buying a jewellery piece, Noora underlined the importance of asking and understanding the ‘4 Cs’: Cut, Clarity, Carat and Colour.“For example, they used to tell us, where is this diamond from? They will tell it is from Belgium, but it’s not only that, you need to ask what you call the four Cs when it comes to jewellery. So no one was explaining this to us until I did my research and then I realised that it’s more than just to say diamonds from Belgium,” Noora added.

Gulf Times
'Strong desire among global travellers to visit Qatar'

Cruise passengers who visit Qatar are highly satisfied with the country’s curated tourism offerings, creating a strong desire for other travellers from around the world to visit the destination, MSC Cruises executive director Angelo Capurro has said.“We see a lot of interest (for tourists to visit Qatar) as a destination so a lot of (our) customers disembark, make excursions and live the experience of the city, and the response we are receiving in terms of satisfaction is quite high,” he explained.Capurro, in Doha recently for an event, cited a record number of cruise passengers who visited Qatar’s popular tourism spots in previous weeks during this 2022-23 cruise season.Like the US and Europe, he noted that Qatar (as a tourism destination), as well as the region, is booming as it continues to receive a huge number of visitors, including those from MSC and other cruise ships.“We are talking about 7,000 passengers every week, it is quite big. Many customers go around, they want to explore the destination, so it means there is a lot of interest,” he said, reiterating that “on top of this... there is always a very high satisfaction coming out of what they are seeing here”.With such demand, Capurro said the company is bringing a new state-of-the-art mega cruise ship to the region next year, which can carry more than 5,000 passengers.Capurro pointed out that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 also provided a good opportunity for MSC to showcase its product.Three MSC ships of different sizes and capacities – Opera, World Europa and Poesia – served as ‘modern floating hotels’ during the tournament.The MSC executive said the post-World Cup and post-Covid-19 pandemic is a chance for people to explore different destinations, especially Qatar and the region.“The area is wonderful so people can have everything, the city is booming. There are a lot of things to see, there are a lot of things to do – the desert, everything, the nature around, and also the city is offering a lot of stuff.“People want to go back to normality and they understand that cruise is a very safe way to go around without having a lot of stress and this (post Covid-19) is a huge opportunity for us,” Capurro added.

Christian Hirt
Qatar a top luxury destination in the region, says expert

The presence of leading and ultra-luxury hotels in Qatar, as well as various opulent tourism offerings, makes the country a top luxury and leisure destination in the region, Raffles and Fairmont Hotels Doha managing director Christian Hirt has said.“I think if we look at the offerings here, the hotel and restaurant offerings, combined with the cultural offerings, with these wonderful museums that we have here for example – it is definitely targeting the affluent traveller, he said. “Our hotels are a great testament to that.".text-box {float:right; width:450px; padding:10px; border:1pt solid black; margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 20px;}@media only screen and (max-width: 767px) {.text-box {width: 65%;}}A career spanning four continentsAn accomplished hospitality professional, Christian Hirt has a 26-year career spanning four continents and iconic, luxury hotels.Housed within Lusail’s iconic Katara Towers, the two hotels opened just before the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar and now provide an opportunity for guests to explore their first winter staycation deals valid until the start of Ramadan.Working across the business, leisure and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) segments, he has overseen major property and positioning overhauls, including the conceptualisation of restaurant themes.In 2013, Hirt started a three-year stint as general manager of the five-star Swissotel Sydney in Australia, again heading up a property refurbishment and repositioning and development of a new restaurant concept.In 2016, he went to Turkiye for six years as general manager of the ultra-luxurious Raffles Hotel Istanbul and was responsible for the hotel’s pre-opening, positioning and commercial success of its 185 rooms and suites, 67 residences, nine meeting rooms, two restaurants, patisserie, shops and extensive Raffles Spa.Hirt expanded sales outreach into GCC feeder markets and emerging markets across the Americas, Russia and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States).Besides the world-renowned museums, Hirt said the different leisure facilities that have been established in Qatar recently, such as Al Maha Island and water parks, will attract more regional and international visitors.He added that Qatar’s successful hosting of an amazing tournament such as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 proved that it can hold major sporting competitions.“We have shown the world that we can do world-class mega events here in Qatar, and I see this as a starting point for us to develop further and to welcome lots of visitors here to the destination,” he said.“We see that there is a great calendar of events for this year, with a really great lineup,” Hirt said, citing the return of the Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition this month, the Qatar Formula 1 Grand Prix in October, the Geneva International Motor Show Qatar in October, the AFC Asian Cup, and Expo 2023, among others.The scheduled events lined up in Doha this year, he noted, will further promote the destination and drive more visitors to Qatar.Hirt said that they have been working closely with Qatar Tourism, Qatar Museums and other partners and institutions in the country to promote the destination, providing curated experiences for visitors.“The support that we're receiving here from Qatar Tourism and a lot of other institutions is absolutely incredible and shows a great commitment from everyone to achieve Qatar National Vision of 2030,” he said.About the two hotels, Hirt said Raffles and Fairmont are a new landmark in Qatar: both distinct and have the same vision, which is “to deliver the ultimate in luxury, in guest service, and in bespoke experiences”.“However, each of the two brands will do this in their individual way,” he added.

Joseph Abdo
QT events to promote Qatar as leading tourism destination post-World Cup

A mix of all the events organised by Qatar Tourism (QT) after the FIFA World Cup 2022 will 'keep the momentum moving on' to promote the country as a leading tourism destination aimed at attracting more visitors, Qatari Investors Group (QIG) CEO Joseph Abdo has said.Speaking on the sidelines of a recent event on board MSC World Europa, Abdo observed that Qatar’s tourism industry is in an ascending trend as it continues to receive an increasing number of tourists post-World Cup and post Covid-19 pandemic.“Many are now coming to Qatar, they didn’t have the chance to attend the World Cup but they are coming here to see where the final has happened, where Messi won,” he said.Abdo added that people want to visit several popular places in Qatar such as Souq Waqif, Msheireb Downtown Doha, and the stadiums, among other destinations in and outside Doha, and “this is good for the tourism, this is what we call the momentum post-World Cup”.The QIG CEO pointed out there is a huge desire for people from different parts of the globe to visit and experience Qatar, which raised the bar and successfully organised a major sporting event, and what it has to offer.This, Abdo said, has built a brand for Qatar, which showed a high sense of responsibility and professionalism in organising the event, in addition to the high level of safety and security throughout the World Cup.He added that the scheduled events in Qatar this year such as the Formula 1, AFC Asian Cup, and other major sports competitions, as well as cultural events and entertainment shows, will further boost the country’s tourism.“In between, you have some artistic events that are happening and these are always good, a mix between culture, sports, social, and business also, which will help attract more tourists,” Abdo said.Citing the key role of cruise tourism in bringing more visitors to the country, he noted that by the end of this cruise season (running from November to April), around 200,000 passengers have come to Qatar.Abdo cited a growing number of cruise passengers from Qatar as more people become aware of the product that cruise ships offer.“We started at 150 to 200 and now we reached 920 (for MSC). A good average today is around 600 to 700. We see it increasing because people are more and more aware of the product. Now with this agreement, we are going to increase the awareness through social media, the contacts that we have with key companies,” he added.

HE Akbar al-Baker (centre) with Qatar Tourism's Shared Services director Omar Abdulrahman al-Jaber (left) and QNB's Group chief business officer Yousef Mahmoud al-Neama at the DJWE press conference Sunday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
DJWE 2023 to showcase global debut of rare jewellery

A number of novelty pieces and collections such as Louis Vuitton’s 'Fantasy necklace' will be showcased for the first time at the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE), set from February 20 to 25 at the Doha Exhibition and Conference Centre (DECC)."Louis Vuitton's 2.56-carat Monogram flower-cut diamond represents the kind of bold design that is the hallmark of DJWE,” Qatar Tourism chairman and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker told a press conference Sunday.Large number of international visitors expectedWith 96 countries granted visa on arrival in Qatar, Qatar Tourism (QT) is looking forward to welcoming a large number of international visitors at DJWE 2023, which will run in the midst of QT’s ‘Feel Winter in Qatar’ seasonal campaign.“Returning to the DECC this year, visitors can marvel at the exquisite craftsmanship of over 500 globally admired jewellery and watch brands during the event. Many of Qatar’s leading jewellery brands will be revealing their latest collections, providing guests with plenty of reasons to visit,” he explained.Under the patronage of HE Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani, DJWE’s 19th edition will bring together the most prominent local and international jewellers, including Alfardan Jewellery, Ali Bin Ali Luxury, Al Majed Jewellery, Al Muftah Jewellery, Amiri Gems, Bulgari, Blue Salon, Fifty One East and Louis Vuitton in a 33,000sqm venue.Exhibitors will be showcasing new brands, limited-edition collections, and exceptional luxury pieces, including the debut of regional giant Damas Jewellery and the reveal of its unique Alif collection.New to this year’s exhibition is an exciting partnership with internationally-renowned Qatari composer, Dana Alfardan, who created the campaign’s musical score, al-Baker said.He announced that DJWE this year will also feature a ‘designing with purpose’, which features a special partnership between Education Above All (EAA) and Valentino. A limited-edition collection of Valentino accessories that carries the EAA logo is to be unveiled.Parts of the proceeds from the sales will be given to EAA’s education project, benefitting a large number of children worldwide, according to EAA.“As the official airline partner of DJWE, Qatar Airways is pleased to bring onboard two of Qatar Duty Free’s most iconic cafés, where visitors can savour the delicious food and beverages available at Harrod’s Tea Rooms and Venchi,” al-Baker said.Qatar Airways is the official airline partner and QNB the official sponsor of the latest edition of DJWE. Phillips, a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st-century art and design, will also be present at this year’s exhibition, al-Baker added. Phillips, in association with Bacs & Russo holds the world record for the most successful watch auctions.DJWE will again put a spotlight on Qatar Tourism’s Qatari Designers initiative, a long-running platform highlighting its ongoing commitment to support local creative talent. Established in 2017, the programme provided some of Qatar’s most recognised contemporary jewellery and watch brands with a platform to help elevate their developing businesses.Visitors will also see the return of the stunning Turkish and Indian pavilions, featuring different brands and bespoke designs that celebrate the unique heritage and culture of the two countries.Described as the only business-to-consumer event of its kind in the region, al-Baker said this year’s DJWE is expected to attract more than 30,000 visitors from different parts of the globe.In a press statement, QNB’s Group chief business officer Yousef Mahmoud al-Neama said: “QNB Group is proud of its participation as the official sponsor to the 19th edition of the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition, which has become a banner for luxury and elegance in Qatar and the region.“Sponsoring this event is an annual tradition that the Bank maintains and that demonstrates our commitment to support national events and implement the Qatar National Vision 2030 which aims to diversify the local economy.“In addition, our participation provides an important opportunity to position the QNB brand among the world’s finest and can encourage the local brands which are taking up a greater role in the exhibition. We hope that the exhibition will continue its success as an annual event that is highly anticipated by jewellery and luxury watch enthusiasts in the region.”An impressive array of extremely rare and exquisite pearls from the Hussain Alfardan Gallery, a personal collection of natural pearls and part of Alfardan Jewellery, was also presented at the press conference.The latest designs by the uniquely Qatari concept, Papillon Jewellery, which was launched in 2011 by Noora al-Ansari, were also displayed at the event.IDT Gemological Laboratories’ presence at DJWE – a new partnership under Al Darwish Jewellery – will give customers the opportunity to have their jewellery examined and certified by an internationally certified institute.

Another view of the aquarium inside the Grand Terminal. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar.
Aquarium in Grand Terminal captivates cruise passengers

The mega cruise ships that continue to make calls at Old Doha Port have become major attractions for residents frequenting the area while the large aquarium inside the Grand Terminal has been captivating many cruise passengers.Many visitors often find time to gaze at several rare fish and other marine species at the aquarium before leaving the terminal for a tour or a visit to the Mina District.Exploring the Doha Port, visitors who prefer to stay within the area can be seen dining at various restaurants and cafes at the Mina District while others look for souvenirs at several retail shops and boutiques.A few metres away from the Mina District is the Box Park, which remains appealing to both cruise passengers and residents, particularly during the cold season. The two areas offer a scenic view not only of the Doha skyline but also of nearby popular touristic spots.The Doha Port is also home to another large public park just behind the Flag Plaza - a place to hang-out, exercise and spend the day with families, colleagues, or friends.As one of the latest popular destinations in Qatar, it is learnt that the Old Doha Port has been attracting a huge number of visitors, including those from outside the city such as Al Khor. The Port recently hosted the 3rd edition of the Qatar Balloon Festival, which also drew crowds.