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First Dubai Watch Week begins.

The first ever Dubai Watch Week (DWW) will kick off on Sunday to celebrate all matters related to watch making, its history, artistry and technology.

Running from October 18-22 at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), DWW is hoped to become an annual event and has attracted many more prominent participants in the field of horology than organisers had initially expected.

Speaking to Gulf News, Melika Yazdjerdi, director and organiser of DWW, said: "We first began brainstorming the idea of DWW in November 2014 but the whole thing just snowballed into a major event dedicated to the watch industry and its culture. What began as just 20 speakers eventually became 67."

In fact, Melika revealed that Jean-Claude Biver is going to be coming exclusively to Dubai for 22 hours just for DWW and for other speakers, the occasion is going to mark their first visit to the region.

One of DWW's main features includes an exhibition hosted by Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons, which will run alongside numerous conversations, panel discussions and masterclasses. The Rebels of Horology exhibition will host recent creations by watchmakers such as Bovet, Cabestan, De Bethune, Greubel Forsey, Hautlence, Laurent Ferrier, MB&F, H. Moser & Cie, Richard Mille and Urwerk S.A.

"Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons' 65 years in watchmaking has certainly helped bring forth this high turnout of speakers and participants. We are very excited to see how much international media is attending and how many are trying to fit this event into their tight schedules. We have 170 pre-planned interviews scheduled so far," Melika added.

"Dubai Watch Week is a first for the Middle East and an incredible initiative by the Seddiqi Group. I salute them for shining the spotlight on rare artisan watchmaking, a little-known world as intricate as it is extraordinary. Creative artisan watchmaking is made up of rare talents who have dedicated their lives to express their art. Probably the purest form of creative expression in this industry as it is extremely personal and not market driven, populated by rebels who have chosen to master insanely complex engineering assorted with unique artisanship and real hand finishing. Watchmaking which will make all our hearts beat faster," said Maximilian Busser, Founder of MB&F in an earlier statement.

A number of pre-selected timepieces partaking in the Grand Prix d'horlogerie de Geneve (GPHG) will make their final debut before heading to Geneva where the winners of 16 awards will be named on October 29.

"Following the success of the first GPHG exhibition in Dubai in 2013, there has been tremendous interest from both established collectors and emerging watch enthusiasts to see the 2015 pieces first-hand, as they represent the innovation, creativity and imagination of some of the world's most celebrated watchmakers. The GPHG exhibition in Dubai highlights the growing significance of the Middle East region within our wider industry," Melika said in a statement.

In light of the inaugural event, a number of educational initiatives launched by Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons including the Seddiqi scholarship, the Swiss Watch Services internship in addition to a mentorship programme are all open for registration on the DWW website.

In partnership with the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Programme, the $35,000 (Dh128,515) scholarship will allow one individual to obtain a degree in watchmaking in hopes of cultivating the first UAE-based watchmaker.

Plans are already being set in preparation for the next edition of DWW 2016. For more information on speakers, events and exhibitions go to

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 18, 2015
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