“Hind Seddiqi, the Director General of Dubai Watch Week, sat down for an interview at Watchbox Studios to discuss her role in organizing this year’s event. From coordinating travel with international brands to receiving the Special Jury Award at the GPHG Awards, Hind shares the challenges and triumphs of building a thriving watchmaking community. Despite the difficulties posed by COVID-19 restrictions and space limitations, Dubai Watch Week continues to flourish, bringing together 45 brands and fostering collaboration to create something truly extraordinary.”
“In the interview, Hind talks about the unique environment created at Dubai Watch Week, where attendees have the opportunity to connect with watchmakers, CEOs, and industry professionals in an intimate and non-commercial setting. Collaboration is encouraged, leading to remarkable partnerships and a sense of unity within the watch community. As Dubai Watch Week looks towards the future, finding solutions and continuing to inspire and unite watch enthusiasts remains at the forefront of their mission.”
Table of Contents
Introduction to Dubai Watch Week
Dubai Watch Week is an annual event that brings together watch enthusiasts, industry professionals, and brands from around the world. It serves as a platform to showcase the latest innovations in horology, foster knowledge exchange, and build a vibrant community within the watchmaking industry.
Since its inception in 2015, Dubai Watch Week has grown significantly in size and reputation. What began with only seven independent brands has now expanded to include 45 participants. This growth is a testament to the event’s unique environment and the passion and dedication of its organizers.
The objectives of Dubai Watch Week are to create a space for watch aficionados to connect, learn, and appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship behind timepieces. It aims to bridge the gap between the watchmaking industry and the broader community, allowing individuals to gain firsthand knowledge and experience in this captivating field.
Hind Seddiqi’s Position as Director General
As the Director General of Dubai Watch Week, Hind Seddiqi plays a crucial role in organizing and overseeing the event. Her leadership and vision are instrumental in bringing together international brands, coordinating logistics, and ensuring a successful and enjoyable experience for all participants.
Seddiqi’s responsibilities include strategic decision-making, managing relationships with stakeholders, and fostering collaboration between brands. Her deep understanding of the watch industry and her passion for horology make her an invaluable asset in curating an event that resonates with both industry professionals and watch enthusiasts alike.
Under Seddiqi’s guidance, Dubai Watch Week has become a premier event in the watchmaking world, attracting industry leaders, collectors, and enthusiasts from around the globe.
Interview with Hind Seddiqi at Watchbox Studios
Hind Seddiqi recently sat down for an interview with Mike Manjos at Watchbox Studios in Dubai to discuss her role in organizing Dubai Watch Week 2021. The interview shed light on the challenges faced in coordinating travel with international brands, the sense of success felt in building a community through the event, and the honor of receiving the Special Jury Award at the GPHG (Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève) Awards.
During the interview, Seddiqi highlighted the difficulties faced in organizing the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions and uncertainties made planning and logistics more challenging than ever before. However, Seddiqi remained optimistic, drawing inspiration from the Expo 2020 happening in Dubai, which gave her hope and reassurance that the event could go on successfully.
Seddiqi also emphasized the importance of community in the watchmaking industry and how Dubai Watch Week aims to create a sense of reunion and togetherness. The event provides networking and relationship-building opportunities, allowing individuals to connect and collaborate, fostering innovation and growth within the industry.
Challenges Faced in Organizing the Event
Coordinating travel with international brands was one of the major challenges faced in organizing Dubai Watch Week. With different countries having varying restrictions and regulations due to the pandemic, ensuring the attendance of brands from around the world required careful planning and coordination.
Logistical hurdles also presented challenges, as the event needed to be carefully organized to accommodate a large number of participants, ensure smooth operations, and provide an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. From setting up exhibition spaces to managing transportation and accommodations, meticulous planning was essential to overcome these challenges successfully.
Another obstacle was managing participant expectations. With the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, uncertainties prevailed, and attendees needed reassurance and clear communication about safety measures and event protocols.
Communication barriers also posed challenges, as different countries and cultures have their unique ways of operating and understanding. Overcoming these barriers required effective communication strategies and a willingness to adapt and find common ground.
Despite these challenges, the organizers of Dubai Watch Week persevered, ensuring that the event could take place and provide an unforgettable experience for all involved.
Optimism Despite COVID-19 Restrictions
While the COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges to the preparations for Dubai Watch Week, the organizers remained optimistic and adaptable. The Expo 2020 happening in Dubai provided a glimmer of hope and reassurance that large-scale events could take place safely.
Adaptations and measures were implemented to comply with COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines. One example is the seating style in the Horology Forum, which was modified to adhere to social distancing protocols. These changes demonstrated the commitment of the organizers to prioritize the health and safety of participants while still offering an immersive and engaging experience.
The organizers also relied on the opportunity presented by Expo 2020 to maintain enthusiasm and positivity. The successful execution of Expo 2020, which took place a month before Dubai Watch Week, served as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the organizers, reinforcing their belief that the event could be carried out successfully.
Building a Community Through the Event
Building a community is at the heart of Dubai Watch Week. The event aims to create a sense of reunion and togetherness within the watchmaking industry, providing a platform for professionals and enthusiasts to connect, engage, and collaborate.
Community is vital in the watchmaking industry as it fosters innovation, encourages knowledge exchange, and creates opportunities for growth. Dubai Watch Week plays a crucial role in bringing together brands, collectors, and industry professionals, facilitating networking and relationship-building.
The event offers a non-commercial exhibition environment, allowing participants to connect on a deeper level beyond business transactions. The absence of commercial targets and the emphasis on collaboration create an atmosphere of camaraderie, relaxation, and shared passion for horology.
The community built during Dubai Watch Week extends beyond the event itself. It forms lasting connections and relationships that contribute to the growth and development of the watchmaking industry as a whole.
The Horology Forum
The Horology Forum is a crucial component of Dubai Watch Week, providing a platform for industry professionals to share their stories, challenges, and insights. The forum aims to facilitate knowledge exchange, encourage dialogue, and foster collaboration among individuals in the watchmaking industry.
The Horology Forum brings together CEOs, watchmakers, and experts from different brands, allowing them to interact and learn from each other. This open exchange of ideas and experiences helps break down barriers and encourages collaboration, paving the way for innovation and improvement within the industry.
Through the Horology Forum, attendees gain invaluable insights into the inner workings of the watchmaking industry, learning about the challenges faced by different brands and discovering new perspectives on the art of horology. This shared knowledge and collaboration contribute to the growth and advancement of the industry as a whole.
Inspiration for Master Classes and the Creative Hub
The concept behind the master classes at Dubai Watch Week was inspired by the experience of factory tours. Organizers sought to emulate the immersive and hands-on learning environment found during these tours, providing attendees with a unique opportunity to engage with the watchmaking process firsthand.
Master classes offer participants the chance to develop and enhance their skills, learning directly from industry experts and craftsmen. These classes cover a wide range of topics, from movement assembly to watch design, enabling individuals to gain practical knowledge and insights that they can apply in their own professional or personal pursuits.
The Creative Hub at Dubai Watch Week serves as a platform for brands to showcase their work and engage with the watch community. It provides an open canvas for brands to present their latest creations, launch new products, and host focus groups. This interactive and dynamic space allows attendees to immerse themselves in the world of watchmaking, discovering new designs, technologies, and ideas.
The master classes and the Creative Hub add depth and diversity to the event, offering unique opportunities for participants to engage with the watchmaking process and gain a deeper understanding of the craftsmanship and artistry behind timepieces.
Expansion of Dubai Watch Week
Since its inception in 2015, Dubai Watch Week has grown significantly in size and impact. What started with just seven independent brands has evolved into a renowned international event, with 45 brands participating. This growth reflects the willingness of brands to collaborate and be part of a community that fosters innovation, knowledge exchange, and industry growth.
The success of Dubai Watch Week has not been without its challenges. Space limitations have emerged as an obstacle to further expansion. However, the organizers remain committed to finding solutions that will allow the event to continue growing and evolving.
Despite the challenges, Dubai Watch Week has established itself as a must-attend event for anyone passionate about horology. Its unique environment, emphasis on community, and commitment to excellence have set it apart from other watch exhibitions and placed it at the forefront of the watchmaking industry.
Recognition at the GPHG Awards
Dubai Watch Week received the Special Jury Award at the GPHG Awards, a prestigious honor in the watchmaking industry. This recognition showcased the event’s impact and influence within the global watch community and further solidified its position as a leading platform for horological excellence.
The Special Jury Award acknowledges the exceptional work done by Dubai Watch Week in bringing together the watchmaking community and nurturing a sense of collaboration, camaraderie, and innovation. It is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the entire team behind the event, including Hind Seddiqi, whose vision and leadership have been instrumental in its success.
Receiving this award not only boosts the reputation and significance of Dubai Watch Week but also demonstrates the event’s commitment to promoting excellence and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the watchmaking industry.
Dubai Watch Week, under the leadership of Hind Seddiqi, has become a beacon of inspiration, collaboration, and community building within the watchmaking industry. The event’s growth and impact since its inception are a testament to the dedication, passion, and hard work of everyone involved.
Dubai Watch Week serves as a platform for industry professionals, collectors, and enthusiasts to come together, exchange knowledge, and foster innovation. Through events like the Horology Forum and master classes, participants gain valuable insights and experiences, establishing connections and lasting relationships that contribute to the growth and development of the industry.
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers remain optimistic, adapting and finding solutions to ensure the event’s continuity and success. With a commitment to building a vibrant community and creating unforgettable experiences, Dubai Watch Week is poised to continue its remarkable journey, pushing the boundaries of innovation and excellence in the world of horology.