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AUS and Chalhoub Group hold their second Luxury Brands Symposium
After the success of the first edition in 2015, American University of Sharah (AUS), one of the leading universities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the Chalhoub Group, the leading partner for luxury across the Middle East, organised their second Luxury Brands Symposium focusing on the topic of "Luxury and Internet Dilemma: How do luxury brands embrace digital technologies?", which was held at American University of Sharjah.
Experts from the Chalhoub Group, professors and academics from AUS and abroad in addition to industry and digital experts shared their expertise and knowledge with the AUS students and alumni on this hot topic gaining high interest in the Middle East region.Our region is facing a digital paradox where social media plays an important role with a high engagement especially amongst youth (more than 50% of the GCC population is under 30 years old) whereas the use of e-commerce is still low.
The conference started with opening remarks by Dr. Björn Kjerfve, AUS Chancellor, followed by a keynote speech by Patrick Chalhoub, co-CEO of the Chalhoub Group, who shared the Group's views on what is happening in the Middle-East in terms of digital. A representative from Havas Group, one of the world's largest and fastest growing communications groups and Chalhoub Group's partner in the region, talked about the GCC luxury consumers and their digital behaviour. This session was followed by a presentation from Professor Klaus-Peter Wiedmann, Institute of Marketing and Management, Leibniz University of Hannover who focused on luxury and the internet dilemma from an academic point of view.
A panel discussion with key players and experts in the digital field offered international and regional perspectives on the relevance and application of digital technologies to the luxury sector.
The day concluded with an essay competition in which over 150 students participated. Thanks to this conference, students were able to gain knowledge and have a better understanding of the digital world from a business point of view.
"As a university, it has always been our aim to act as a link between industry and society, responding to the challenges they face in a dynamic, competitive and global environment. Today's event was a manifestation of that resolve as it proved to be an excellent opportunity for us to hear the views of thought leaders on digital technologies and their impact on the industry," said Dr. Björn Kjerfve, AUS Chancellor.
"We are in a fast moving world where digital can no longer be ignored, we believe that both online and offline are equally important. Digital is a window to the world that facilitates knowledge and communication. As the leading partner for luxury across the Middle East it is our duty and responsibility to stay ahead in the game, to understand the market and consumer's needs. Through our partnership with AUS we make sure that the knowledge and skills are shared with students allowing them to build their expertise and prepare themselves for the professional world." commented Patrick Chalhoub, co-CEO of the Chalhoub Group.