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AUS and Chalhoub launch region’s first Luxury Brand Management Professorship
American University of Sharjah (AUS), one of the leading universities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, announced today the launch of the first Luxury Brand Management Professorship in the MENA region. The professorship fulfills the need for a niche academic and talent development program that meets the specific demands of the luxury brand sector in the region. To this effect, AUS signed an agreement with Chalhoub Group, the leading partner for luxury brands across the Middle East. Senior executives of Chalhoub Group will act as advisors to develop and update the course structure and content so that it reflects new developments in the world of luxury brand management.
The luxury brand management course at AUS introduces students to the theoretical and practical understanding of product development, pricing, distribution and communication that appeals to luxury consumers. It provides students with knowledge and skills to navigate issues including the balancing of desirability and accessibility of luxury, to manage a luxury brand over time and to create and build new and aspirational luxury brands. They receive the right blend of academic instruction and real-world experience as they are trained to apply concepts regarding consumer behavior and brand management to real-life luxury products and service examples. The course covers various sections of luxury brand management including fashion, cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry, cars, hotels and real estate.
Dr. Thomas Hochstettler, AUS Acting Chancellor, outlined the impact the professorship will have on the region and said, "The professorship is a welcome innovation in the educational landscape of the Middle East. "This collaboration epitomizes our university's commitment to forging pioneering partnerships in emerging fields. The Chalhoub Group is a leading entity in the field of luxury goods and this collaboration reflects our desire to leverage the best knowledge and expertise available in that area. We sincerely hope that our mutual commitment in this endeavor will prove highly fruitful."
Patrick Chalhoub, Group CEO, Chalhoub Group, announced the partnership and said, "Our partnership with AUS is in line with our guiding principles to empower the youth of the Arab World, and more specifically GCC nationals, by supporting academic institutes in the Middle East. We believe in this region and the role of youth in promoting and leading businesses on to the next level. We are proud of our collaboration with a prestigious institution of higher learning such as AUS and are certain that they will be able to develop excellent graduate students capable of growing luxury businesses across the Middle East and internationally."
Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, AUS Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs, was one of the key drivers in conceiving and crafting the agreement with Chalhoub Group. She said, "The AUS Luxury Brand Management Professorship presents students with new luxury business models grounded in anti-laws of marketing and reinforced through readings, case studies and course projects for practical application and experiential learning. It allows students to meet with key luxury experts from the Chalhoub Group and lets them relate to the real-world context of the branding process. Students also have the chance to be guided by mentors identified by the Chalhoub Group, who will support and direct them through their projects."
Dr. Nicholas Ashill of the AUS School of Business and Management assumes the responsibilities and duties of the professorship. A contributor to various international marketing journals and recipient of global awards, he has worked closely with several luxury brands to develop a contemporary and relevant curriculum that takes into account the special requirements of the luxury brands sector in the region. He said, "The AUS Luxury Brand Management Professorship represents a milestone in the growth of our marketing discipline. This new senior marketing course was developed drawing upon best practice curriculum from HEC Paris and the University of Bocconi, Milan. We have put together a schedule of inspirational readings and will host fantastic speakers who bring regional relevance to luxury brand management. We also support academic research on luxury branding and have begun work on projects examining luxury brand extensions and brand charisma. Equally, we are now in a position to channel our students into internship programs at leading luxury brand companies in the region."