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

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.


UAQ, Alinma close real estate fund at $4.5bn

Updated 07 December 2019

UAQ, Alinma close real estate fund at $4.5bn

Umm Alqura Company for Development and Construction (UAQ) and Alinma Investment Company announced the successful completion of the launch of the Makkah Real Estate Development Funds, with an investment value exceeding SR17 billion ($4.5 billion). 

The funds are invested in seven hotel towers and two commercial complexes that will be developed within the King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) project in Makkah. It is one of the most significant developmental and urban development projects in the Makkah region. The project includes multiple options including housing and shopping, and provides easy mobility and means of transportation between the project facilities and the central area of the Holy Mosque.    

Yasser Abuateek, CEO of UAQ, said: “This strategic agreement is the first of several diverse investment activities designed to attract leading investment institutions. It confirms the appeal of investing in KAAR, an attractive destination for long-term investments, as well as the trust of the investment and financing community.

“This partnership also sheds light on the strength of Alinma Investment and its success in managing real estate funds, which makes it the ideal partner for implementing the project’s development and urban plan. The project aspires to become one of the modern landmarks in Makkah.”

Abuateek added: “By successfully attracting investments valued at SR17 billion, we will make progress in line with the execution plan for several diverse projects, especially since we have already reached several major milestones, including completion of the pouring and construction of all the concrete blocks for the Makkah Metro tunnels, while in addition we have completed nearly 50 percent of the bridges. Currently, we are working on completing all the unprecedented infrastructure projects that followed the demolition phase, which represent a transformation in the investment, development and preparation of the project’s lands, making it more attractive for development and creating new choices that help upgrade the quality of life for Makkah visitors and residents.”

Acting CEO of Alinma Investment Mazin bin Fawaz Baghdadi said: “We are very happy with the success of the Alinma Real Estate Development Funds together with our partner UAQ. This investment, with the large sum of capital, will play a major role in fulfilling the objectives of the finance sector, while our partnership will contribute to increasing the capacity to accommodate pilgrims and visitors through implementing urban developmental projects in the Makkah region.”

“The funds’ investment objective is to achieve long-term capital growth through the development of the superstructure in various parts of the King Abdul Aziz Road project in Makkah, which are: Five-star international hotels (Taj Hotel and Kempinski Hotel), four-star hotels (Hilton Embassy), three-star hotels (Hilton Garden Inn), apartments (Kempinski Residence), and two malls,” added Baghdadi.