This Dubai university is offering a dual degree in luxury management
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This Dubai university is offering a dual degree in luxury management

This Dubai university is offering a dual degree in luxury management

The four-semester curriculum of the GEMLux programme was conceptualised with an advisory committee that included the Chalhoub Group, Daimler Middle East and Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons

University of Wollongong in Dubai

Last year, marked a promising trajectory for global luxury sales which reached an estimated $312bn. While luxury sales worldwide increased around 6 per cent year-on-year, sales in the Middle East rose around 1 per cent to approximately $8.4bn. The GCC luxury market is around 3 per cent of the global market.

The Covid-19 pandemic has upended the luxury industry. The global personal luxury goods market is expected to contract between 22-35 per cent this year. The GCC personal luxury sales meanwhile – including beauty, fashion, jewellery, gift, and watches – decreased between 1-3 per cent every year from 2015, reaching $8.3bn compared to a global worldwide estimated turnover of $299bn.

Even the most optimistic forecasts predict that the global luxury industry will return to pre-pandemic levels only in 2022.

While the recovery pattern or timeline remains uncertain, what is beyond doubt is that management professionals working within the luxury industry will need a new skill set that allows them to not only be aware of how to navigate the downturn in the luxury industry, but also how to curate a truly global outlook where they can spot markets and product segments that will see higher growth in the near- to mid-term.

Earlier this year, the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), launched a new Masters’ degree in luxury management. The Global Executive Master in Luxury Management (GEMLux) programme has a well-grounded academic background as the programme has been designed in collaboration with the Italian business school, Politecnico di Milano’s Graduate School of Business (MIP).

Lending the course regional relevance and also ensuring that students receive practical knowledge about ground realities of the luxury industry, it was conceptualised with an advisory committee that included the Chalhoub Group, Daimler Middle East and Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons

Those who complete the post-graduate course will receive dual certificates, one from UOWD and the other from MIP. It therefore stands to increase their chances of employability in European as well as Middle Eastern markets across career roles such as luxury brand managers, fashion retail buyers, branding and PR specialists, creative directors, brand ambassadors and visual merchandising executives.

The course outline includes training in areas such as strategy, contract negotiation, luxury customer experience design and marketing, supply chain management, brand management and distribution.

The UAE luxury market has grown at a CAGR of 7.4 per cent since 2018 and is anticipated to reach $14.9bn by 2023. A Bain & Company annual luxury report pegs the growth of online luxury shopping in the region at 22 per cent – almost double that of the rest of the world – accounting for 10 per cent of all luxury sales globally.

“As a centre of tourism and a major luxury shopping destination, Dubai is considered one of the major hubs for young working professionals seeking to enter the luxury brand management field. Furthermore, the GCC market for luxury products and experiences is growing exponentially with high spending per capita and an informed target market that has the purchasing power to afford luxury goods,” says Professor Mohammed Salem, president of UOWD.

One of the prerequisite eligibility criteria for the course is for candidates to possess three-four years of work experience. “UOWD’s GEMLux programme bridges the gap between luxury goods and business management. It is also a big draw for people who wish to deepen their knowledge of luxury management, and enhance their creative and managerial skills in the luxury goods and services sector,” adds Salem.

The four-semester curriculum spread over 18 months involves plenty of international fieldwork wherein students will travel to fashion capitals such as Milan, Geneva and Paris to participate in factory tours, visit the headquarters of luxury brands, and even attend trade exhibitions and industry fairs. “This landscape creates a fantastic opportunity for both professionals and major luxury brands to leverage, while travelling from Dubai to Milan, Geneva and Paris,” says Professor Alessandro Brun, director of GEMLUX at the Politecnico di Milano –School of Management.

The UAE’s oldest foreign university, UOWD, recently opened the doors to its new 200,000-square-foot Campus of the Future facility in Dubai Knowledge Park.

For more information about the University of Wollongong in Dubai’s GEMLux programme, click here

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