Rabeh, MSc in Luxury Management student, won the Arab Luxury World – Global Student Competition 2018

Two IUM students, Estelle and Rabeh, MSc in Luxury Management program, were among the six shortlisted students for the Arab Luxury World – Global Student competition. On May 7, they presented their paper in front of the jury. Rabeh’s submission entitled “The New Saudi Luxury Consumer and the Products and Brands that will Emerge as Winners in the Kingdom” won the competition where students from prestigious business schools such as Columbia University Business School, ESSEC, Northwestern Kellogg School of Business shared their views on the “new” challenges facing the luxury and fashion industry. Congratulations Rabeh!

MSc in Luxury Management“The historic evolution of luxury towards new communications, and today’s consumer’s preference of experience over things within retail” is the subject I have chosen.

I am trying to prove through this paper that academics can bring a better solution to businesses and increase their profits without having the professional eye, and through a less bias perspective.”

This opportunity was actually great, I had the chance to inspire my writing from my BA dissertation, which proved that I had chosen the right studies already last year before even applying to IUM. Through my creation, I learnt so much about current trends within retail and the Millennial customer (myself). I chose to participate because the subjects were all things that I am passionate about and where I want to go in terms of career: creative branding and retail.

I did not expect at all to get selected so it is to me the best surprise I got to wake up to! I am so glad IUM offered us this great opportunity, and I cannot wait to visit Dubai for the first time, and prove to the other finalists with Rabeh, that IUM can win this!

Estelle Nigioni, MSc Luxury Management Student 

I have been in France for two years and every time I went back to my hometown in Saudi Arabia, I was shocked by the rapid cultural, social, and political changes I witnessed. Over such a short time span, I was impressed by how fast people have become accepting and more open.

That’s what drove me to write this research paper. These transformations are redefining the distribution of wealth and pouring more power in the hands of Saudi Women, giving birth to an entirely new luxury market and new consumers.

Rabeh El-Sayeb, MSc Luxury Management Student

Marika Taishoff, MBA Program Director and Rabeh’s supervisor, is very proud of her student.

Rabeh’s submission to the Arab Luxury World competition was an extremely topical examination of  “The New Saudi Luxury Consumer and the Products and Brands that will Emerge as Winners in the Kingdom.”

Beginning with a thorough and detailed overview of the current changes stemming from the social, cultural, and labor reforms occurring in the Kingdom today, Rabeh examines the consequences of these changes on consumers of luxury products and services in Saudi Arabia. He notes that the rapidly changing business environment has given birth to new luxury consumers and buying patterns, and that luxury brands, if they are to be successful, must take these new variables into consideration in their strategies for the region.

Using interviews and structured focus groups with Saudi nationals of both genders, representative of the Kingdom’s upper social classes and thus accustomed to luxury and knowledgeable about the local and international luxury markets, the paper analyses the Saudi concept of luxury. Particular attention is given to the various factors that have, and will, influence the Saudi luxury consumers’ purchase decisions. Notably, given the radical changes affecting and enhancing the status of women in the Kingdom, the role of Saudi women in redefining the luxury market is thoroughly addressed in this paper. Based on the findings of the focus groups, a content analysis on several topics, such as Luxury online shopping, Local Luxury Designers (both contemporary and traditional), and Saudi value perceptions were carried out. The objective was to understand how the participants defined luxury, as well as their views on how luxury was perceived by other nationals. The overriding aim was to identify categories of products and brands that can be predicted to emerge as winners in this rapidly evolving Saudi luxury market.

The Arab Luxury World – Global Student Competition brought together graduate students from all around the world to talk about the future of luxury. Students from prestigious business schools such as Columbia University Business School, ESSEC, Northwestern Kellogg School of Business share their views on the “new” challenges facing the luxury and fashion industry in defining the new product, the new ways of communications, the new luxury and the new consumers as well as their behaviour.

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