Fine watchmaking expo returns to Saudi Arabia

Salon des Grandes Complications creates opportunities for knowledge to be exchanged and collectors to discover limited editions and the newest launches.
Updated 19 March 2019
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Fine watchmaking expo returns to Saudi Arabia

Annual horology exhibition Salon des Grandes Complications (SDGC) is returning to Saudi Arabia for the third year in a row, with shows in both Jeddah and Riyadh. The event will showcase the latest masterpieces from some of the most celebrated watchmakers in history. The fine watchmaking exhibition will kick off in Jeddah at the Hilton Hotel April 8-11, and then move to Al-Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh April 15-18.

Salon des Grandes Complications debuted in Dubai in 2014, later branching out to Saudi Arabia due to high demand and the appreciation of exceptional timepieces in the Kingdom. 

Saudi Arabia is a key Middle Eastern market for watchmakers — last year saw a year-on-year increase in the import of Swiss watches by 6 percent, and this figure is only expected to increase with the introduction of new policies. 

The capital city of Riyadh is home to over 10,000 watch collectors while Jeddah on the other hand, is Saudi Arabia’s commercial hub, with almost as many horological aficionados estimated to live there. 

Designed to offer a platform for Maisons and enthusiasts to convene, Salon des Grandes Complications creates opportunities for knowledge to be exchanged and collectors to discover — often for the first time in the region — limited editions, the newest launches and unique rarities. 

Among the international brands that will be present at the 2019 edition are Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Breguet, Breitling, Fabergé, Girard-Perregaux, Greubel Forsey, Harry Winston, Montblanc, Rudis Sylva, TAG Heuer, Ulysse Nardin and Zenith. 

With the introduction of several new brands, there will be a more diversified display of timepieces, from innovative novelties to classic creations, grand complications and high jewelry timepieces. Also new to this year’s edition will be a private majlis (a gathering place for social events), where special talks will be hosted by various brands and experts will share their personal insights into modern day horology. 

SDGC has successfully attracted over 80 international Swiss, German and Italian brands during the past five years.

The event will be held alongside the 10th annual Jewellery Salon 2019, a well-established jewelry exhibition in the Kingdom.

SDGC 2019 will be held in partnership with Bentley Motors and with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Saudi Arabia.

The event will be open free of charge to all professional visitors from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.


Berkeley celebrates winning Queen’s Award

Updated 22 July 2019
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Berkeley celebrates winning Queen’s Award

Berkeley Engineering Consultants (BEC), a single access point for specialist engineering services for the global oil and gas sector, is celebrating winning the Queen’s Award for International Trade. It is a major achievement, with BEC being one of just over 200 companies to have been recognized out of more than 4 million registered businesses.

BEC CEO Irteza Piracha said: “Winning the Queen’s Award represents another major milestone in our journey. We have built our success on offering an innovative and flexible approach to supporting our clients, who are some of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies.” 

Announced once a year, the Queen’s Awards are the most prestigious awards for UK businesses, recognizing outstanding achievement among UK-based companies in four categories, which also include Innovation, Promoting Opportunity Through Social Mobility and Sustainable Development. 

BEC is one of just a handful of organizations supporting the oil and gas sector recognized in the Queen’s Awards this year.

The company is a strategic partner to major names in oil and gas, including Saudi Aramco and their joint venture partners, providing process-engineering services that enable its clients to select the safest, most efficient and cost-effective designs for their processing facilities. 

Its activities encompass extraction, refining, petrochemical and petrochemical-processing projects.

Piracha said: “In the Kingdom, we are supported by Saudi Aramco and their joint venture investments, which underpin our success. The company has expanded from the Alkhobar hub to Rabigh and Yanbu over the past three years. We appreciate the governmental functions to support foreign investors in Saudi Arabia and have found the process and encouragement of officials to be supportive of what we are seeking to achieve. 

“Aligned with Vision 2030, we completely recognize this is a place to be and look forward to supporting the growth plans of our customers and the Kingdom. We will continue to support our clients by being physically close to them and we continue to open offices in strategic locations to support their needs.”

He added: “A very special thank you to each of the employees and their families for their belief in the owners and their ideals.”

Based in London, with an engineering office in Reading, BEC employs engineering specialists delivering high-value, optimal cost-driven client solutions. 

It operates from additional facilities worldwide, including Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and South Korea, and opened a new dedicated office in Oman in 2019 to support this rapidly growing market.

BEC will celebrate its success during a royal reception for Queen’s Awards winners in the summer.