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-The UAE has been the Middle East’s biggest market for luxury watches in 2011, according to data released by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

The UAE was ranked the world’s ninth biggest market for watches, worth $658m between January and November 2011. This positioned the Gulf state one place higher than the UK.

This represents a near-20 per cent increase on 2010 when the UAE market was worth $550m, according to statistics.

In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia was ranked second with a market worth $273m, a 12 per cent increase on 2010.

Qatar and Kuwait also featured in the top 30 markets in the world for the first 11 months of 2011 with imports of $100m and $71m respectively.

Globally, Hong Kong was ranked the largest market for Swiss watches in 2011, worth $3.9bn, nearly 30 per cent more than the previous year.