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HAUTE DUBAI Magazine / Society /

Talking Luxury: Q&As with three
of the participating brands
at Luxury Lifestyle Awards ME 2016

Talking Luxury:  Q&As with three of the participating brands at Luxury Lifestyle Awards ME 2016

Mr. Hayan Abou Assali, General Manager of Cavalli Club

Mr. Hayan Abou Assali points out that participating in such an exclusive event as Luxury Lifestyle Awards really optimizes what Cavalli Club is all about. It gives the desire to keep achieving new goals and pushing to be even better.

To your mind, are there any opportunities for the local luxury companies to reach international recognition?
On an international scale, usually when people research to see what’s out there, the most interesting venues are the most luxurious ones. Cavalli Club is recognized worldwide because of its extravagance and out-of-this world venue. With the right kind of exposure, and the right target market, luxury companies, whether local or international, end up being recognized by luxurious people. It takes luxury to know luxury.

What does the Luxury Lifestyle Award and the title of the Luxury Night Club mean to you and your company?
When you think of luxury, you associate it with exclusivity and high standards. Being classified as a Luxury Night Club gives us an added value. Take Ladies’ nights in Dubai in for instance: here at Cavalli, we recently collaborated with jewelers to give away diamonds to a certain amount of lucky ladies while they enjoy their complementary cocktails. Nothing screams luxury more than diamonds! So while a ladies night usually means the ladies drink for free, being classified as a Luxury Night Club brings it to a whole new level.

What is “luxury” to you? How do you define it in your sector of business?
The business world is the most competitive one. People work nonstop to achieve a certain position and become number one. After you become number one, it is a matter of classification. Being the number one night club is great, but when luxury is involved, it’s about being the most elegant. It comes with great expenses, yes, but this is what it takes to be classified as truly the best, and truly the most luxurious. Thinking “luxury” is a whole new mindset. Luxury in the nightlife industry forces us to always push it to the next level.

Is it challenging for you to compete with the companies of your own country?
It’s a tricky question, because in my personal opinion we don’t compete. Other clubs copy and compete with us! We are the only club in the region to successfully open seven nights a week. Our fine dining concept adds the elegance that no other nightlife venue offers, guests dine in the utmost luxury and experience the most sophisticated of tastes. We have a variety of club nights and themes throughout the week unlike no other nightlife venue in the region making us appealing to a variety of clientele. We step it up, we do our share, and are considered good competition from other venues. We work hard to be the best!

What are the 5 pillars does the luxury brand like yours build its policy on?
1. Keeping the Cavalli brand in mind at all times – Cavalli lives and breathes luxury, from the staff to the interiors and overall experience, we focus on keeping the brand in mind at all times.

2. Talent – From our Chef’s to resident DJs – we are proud to have the best in the business with us at Cavalli. It’s vital to have the optimum level of talent to enable our guest’s leave feeling well looked after and enjoyed every second of their visit to Cavalli.

3. Attention to detail – Roberto Cavalli prides himself on the details that go into everything within his brand. At Cavalli Club, everything from the animal print furnishings, to the personally signed welcome in the menu gives each guest an exceptional experience and adds something a little bit unique

4. Staff knowledge – I believe this an important aspect to build a successful restaurant with. Our menu has various Italian creations from our talented Chef, our guests are encouraged to ask questions and are guaranteed a knowledgeable answer from our expertly trained staff.

5. Understanding the competition – Dubai is consumed by new luxury restaurants/bars/clubs and understanding the market is key to the venue’s success. There is no other venue like Cavalli in the market offering a dinner/club experience and we understand the market enough to know that we offer something that little bit special. From brunch with a cabaret show on Sunday, the best ladies’ night in Dubai on Tuesday, 5* dining experience, to an award winning Urban night on a Wednesday – Cavalli ticks every box!

Tell us 3 reasons why you decided to work in the sphere of luxury?
- It is important to consider the fact that in the local market, being a luxury company put us on an international map and gives us a chance to compete with the world. To me, there is nothing better than challenging myself, and overcoming great challenges puts you on the road to success. And if you’re not the best, in my opinion, you’re nothing.

- Having worked in senior roles in a series of five star hotels in Bahrain, Qatar, Greece and the UAE luxury has always been a part of my life and when the opportunity presented itself to join Cavalli it was an easy decision as there is no other luxury brand with the same reputation when it comes to products as well as experiences.

- The true meaning of luxury is going above and beyond and delivering the utmost quality in the most exceptional way possible creating memories and experiences which money cannot quantify. My passion for luxury is the centre of my daily operation ensuring we offer only the finest quality to our guests in terms of service, product and overall experience. There is no other venue in Dubai which offers the same quality as Cavalli Club, Restaurant & Lounge.

Where does your inspiration come from?
I’m inspired by the people I work with at Cavalli. We are fortune to have an amazing team around us. From floor staff, to reservations teams and those who work in the back office creating campaigns and promoting us non-stop. We work as a team to come up with new concepts and every day I am inspired to have them in the Cavalli family. In my opinion, a good team results in a great work space and ethos – making Cavalli an enviable place to work.

Mohamed Mahmood, Managing Director of Beckett Interiors, Bahrain

Mohamed expresses his point of view about possible influence of participation in the Luxury Lifestyle Award and also tells about challenges and a true danger that jeopardizes the luxury market.

What is “luxury” to you? How do you define it in your sector of business?
To us "luxury" is not just one thing, its not just a product nor just a service but its more of an experience. For example when you walk into a hotel like the Ritz and they greet you as soon as you walk in and lead you all the way through until you are settled in your room, its the whole experience that you go through that makes something luxurious. In interior design it is the same, when a client walks in to our showroom we take them through a journey and whether they are just browsing through fabrics for their sofa or require the services of an interior designer we make sure that they get a full experience where they feel at ease with whatever they need.

Is it challenging for you to compete with the companies of your own country? Do you feel ready to enter competition on international level?
Definitely challenging. As we have mentioned the Bahraini market is a rather small market saturated with interior designers which makes it rather hard to penetrate but it is all about finding the niche in the market for the type of product and service you are offering. Having a presence in international markets is one of our long term goals and when the time is right and the right opportunity comes along we will definitely go for it.

Lately the phrase “affordable luxury” is widely used, do you think that it is appropriate for your business industry?
Personally, we do not think that there is anything wrong with "affordable luxury" as long as the experience provided is still a luxurious experience. We have worked on projects with clients with limited budgets and on the other hand we have had clients with rather large budgets, the end product will differ but the experience remains the same. The true danger that jeopardizes the luxury market is the over use of the word "luxury" where it is not appropriate and we think that truly dilutes its meaning hence affecting all luxury providers in the market.

What are the 5 pillars does the luxury brand like yours build its policy on?
1. Quality; you can’t compromise quality when you are offering a high end product. No one wants a sofa or a coffee table that falls apart two months down the line, that would be truly unacceptable.

2. Service; we make sure to greet our clients with a smile on our faces, that makes them feel comfortable about talking to us about their needs.

3. Knowledge; knowing what you have on offer is vital to ensure that your clients are confident in you hence putting their minds at ease.

4. Originality; making sure that what we have on offer is truly unique.

5. Transparency; we find it vital to be clear and honest with our clients, it gives them assurance and confidence in a very challenging sector of the market.

These are the basis that we have built our company on and through them we have managed to give our clients a luxury experience.

Tell us 3 reasons why you decided to work in the sphere of luxury?
Passion, this is the main driver as we truly appreciate the meaning of a high end product and service. In addition to a gap in the market for such services and last but not least the drive to offer something different and an experience that is rather unique.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Inspiration is all around us, it can be anywhere and in any form. It comes from our clients, our products and even our environment, it is just about being in the right frame of mind to be inspired.

Louzan Fashion Team

Louzan Fashion Team believes that the way how they respect the local traditions and mix them with conservative creativity bring them too close to the Golden Crown at the Luxury Lifestyle Awards Middle East & Africa 2016

What is “luxury” to you? How do you define it in your sector of business?
Luxury first of all is a state of mind, it is the commitment to excellence, paying attention to details, and the differentiation in quality, design, and especially customer’ care and service.

Is it challenging for you to compete with the companies of your own country?
Competition is the essence of success, we welcome it because it is the way to improve self and product.

What are the 5 pillars does the luxury brand like yours build its policy on?
1. Creativity

2. Right materials

3. Attention to details

4. Teamwork

5. Right marketing channels

Tell us 3 reasons why you decided to work in the sphere of luxury?
1. High disposable income per capita in the region

2. Dubai is the hub for luxury shopping in the region

3. The opportunity to serve the elite customers with refined taste.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Respecting the local traditions and mixing them with conservative creativity to fulfill the individual need & taste of up to date customers.

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