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When Dubai goes inspirational - Pearl Academy

What if your college takes you on a study tour to one of the seven Emirates? Won’t it be exciting? Pearl Academy organized a learning tour for the fashion designing and business marketing students to Dubai with an aim to explore market dynamics and consumer behaviour.

Dubai is touted for its man-made islands, biggest shopping centres and sky-rise edifices, like the Burj Khalifa and the Mall of Emirates, to name a few. It is said to be the most luxurious city in the world. The structures of Dubai are terrific and sprawling as any of the sheikh’s castles. (Also, why not, since the Sheikh owns lavish edifices and inns in any case.) The city is amazingly modern, yet there are areas like in the “Old Dubai”, which apart from being antique, are elegant in appearance.

It’s truly intriguing to simply watch the city while passing by as the place is a treasure trove for the artisans and one can not resist the urge to wonder about the beauty and class of the structures there.

On the splendid side, there are numerous things to do in Dubai, from rising bashing and camel riding to shopping and finding the delightful Middle Eastern food.

To give the students a feel of luxury, Pearl Academy chose to stay in proximity to the Luxury retail environment and strategically planned the itinerary. Students learnt about different aspects of the luxury business from retail operations, brand aesthetics and sales etiquettes.

It was a four-day study tour where students started with sight-seeing, Burj Al Arab being the first spot. The property is the most expensive in the world, and you can’t imagine the tariff of the Royal suite which is over twenty thousand dollars a night. Students spent few hours going through all the exclusive floors and rooms of the royal suite to get an experience that only a few places in the world can offer. It helped them built a unique perspective towards how Luxury can be defined at the highest level of indulgences.

After the walkthrough of the world’s most luxurious Suites by Adham Mohammed Ali, Protocol Director, Burj Al Arab, students were taken for live gaming activity planned in the Dubai mall- the world’s biggest mall.
Now came the time for an activity. The students were divided into two groups: Mumbaikars and Delhites and were given a brief and a timeline to finish the activity. Their task was to find two luxury brands of their choice, compare and contrast them on these variables: Merchandise mix, floor staff interaction and product knowledge and brand aesthetics of the front end.

As the activity was time bound and included a prize, there was a lot of excitement. Later on, an inspirational talk was arranged with the head of sales of YSL Beauty Brand at Gallery Laffayette, where she spoke about how critical product knowledge and understanding the history and ethos of the luxury brand is to the customer.

Moving on, the next talk was with the store manager of Burberry, who shared experiences about inspiration in Luxury. The Burberry store was then displaying their new collection inspired by the renowned British sculptor ‘Henry Moore”. The students got fascinated as the Store Manager spoke about art and inspiration in luxury while demonstrating a reversible Burberry bag to show the class of luxury.
Coming in third, industry expert Alexandra McQueen spoke in depth about the importance of history and the inspiration of conception of design ideation for new collections and the importance of product knowledge for the brand promoter as well as the customer. She told the students how each collection had a unique target market like the iconic Knuckle Duster clutch that is popular amongst the Indian buyers and how Dubai is an important destination for all the brands.

Moving on, students were addressed by the Dubai’s renowned Dhamani Jewellery sales and marketing heads. They presented the talk and discussed about their brand and why they are at another level of luxury while some of their products do not even carry a price tag. To put in perspective, they displayed diamond rings and neck pieces in the range of 1-3 million US dollars. The students were completely spellbound post this talk especially on how they close the sales in a team of two or three and why teamwork plays an integral role.

Breakfast at Farzi Café & Brand Talk on Indian Food with a twist in Dubai was an astounding moment for the students there.

Visit at the Dubai Design District was the last activity where understanding the pulse of a Middle Eastern consumer was presented to the students who took to design spaces and talked to them about how luxury events are planned there and how leasing and licensing of design spaces is done. The Design Showcase with quirky architecture, artefacts and fashion pop-ups left the students awestruck!

The proposed objectives of the tour were perfectly met as the students not only understood what the luxury landscape entails but also helped the students to develop a mental connect with the theoretical and practical aspects of Luxury. This tour made critical understanding of luxury brands possible for students as they can now ideate, visualize and conceptualise in a better way.

The multi-sensory connect with brand visuals, and the design language goes far in developing entrepreneurship and a strong foundation for ideation. Pearl Academy incorporates the study tours as a part of the assessment brief to add value to its classroom learning, so that the students can compete and mark their presence at a World- class level.

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