UAE | General

Dubai Shopping Festival: Glitter, gold and wealth untold

World Luxury Expo debuts at Burj Al Arab with diamond encrusted pens and a touch of movie mania

  • By Faisal Masudi, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 16:32 January 16, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ Gulf News
  • Potential shoppers browse the items for sale at the Burj Al Arab as part of the World Luxury Expo.

Dubai: A new attraction for the super rich has been launched during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) featuring rare luxuries displayed at the posh Burj Al Arab hotel.

The World Luxury Expo started on Tuesday and ends on Thursday.

Multimillion-dirham indulgences are up for grabs at the show, including antiques and modern luxuries. Participating companies include those selling private jets, yachts and supercars.

The expo for high-net worth individuals — organised by OMS Events and promoted by DSF organisers Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (Depe) — is marketed as a one-stop shop for exclusive assets offered in the privacy of the Bur Al Arab setting.

“This is the first time such an event has been held for DSF and we hope to have this every DSF. Tourism is high during DSF and lots of visitors want to shop. We like to promote Dubai as a luxurious city,” OMS Events CEO Mayaz Al Dalal told Gulf News.

“At least $50 million [more than Dh183 million] worth of products are on show, offered by 32 participants at the expo. We’re hoping to make it bigger and bigger each year, the response has been good.”

One offer is fine art, high-end jewellery and fashion, hand-crafted time pieces, designer furniture, and rare collectables, among other objects of desire.

During a recent visit, Gulf News focused on some items buyers could carry home instead of having to arrange special delivery.

Gleaming in a 22-carat gold sheath is a 16th century sword priced at $1 million. Is it believed to be the last sword in a special 20-piece series created by Assadullah Al Asfahani, a craftsman based in Damascus under Ottoman rule. The handle is original ivory while the blade is jawher, a special metal alloy said to be harder than steel.

And for those looking for something of practical use in today’s world, there’s the Ultimate Centennial Dragon fountain pen valued at more than Dh3.1 million. Made by Italian luxury brand Montegrappha, the pen is studded with scores of tiny diamonds and rubies, with a golden dragon figurine wrapped around the barrel. Only 100 of the pens are commissioned for sale worldwide, and the serial number of the one at the expo is 100/100.

Even movie buffs have something to ogle — like a one-off film poster of the 1980s super-hit Scarface — complete with the Uzi submachine gun used in the movie’s climactic scenes. Signed by the star Al Pacino and other lead actors, the Dh170,500 memorabilia encases the gun — albeit with the working parts removed to render it non-functional (and legal).

More subtle opulence is also available — how about a perfume worth Dh97,500? The “Bee with Silver Wings” fragrance comes in a special 250ml bottle shaped in the shape of — you guessed it — a bee with silver wings. The complex and gripping scent, known also as “juice”, is a mesmerising concoction of “floral, powdery and woody” notes, as one perfume saleswoman described it. Bought to you by French perfume house Guerlain, only 50 bottles are on the market globally.

DSF is an annual month-long shopping and entertainment extravaganza running for 18 years. It includes daily and weekly raffles of gold and cash prizes and cars to be won. Shopping malls offer special sales or bundle packages to woo visitors, while international performers keep up the tempo with stage and street shows.

Gulf News
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