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AUS and the Chalhoub Group announce the launch of their first Luxury Brands Symposium
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 held at AUS today their first Luxury Brands Symposium focusing on the topic of "Sustainability in the Gulf."
Experts from the Chalhoub Group, professors and academics from AUS and abroad in addition to industry and sustainability experts shared their expertise and knowledge with the AUS students and alumni on the topic of sustainability.
The conference opened with remarks by Dr. Björn Kjerfve, AUS Chancellor, who welcomed the audience at AUS. Reflecting on the partnership with Chalhoub Group, Dr. Kjerfve said, "Having launched the first Luxury Brand Management Professorship in the MENA region with the support of the Chalhoub Group two years ago, we share a very strong bond through commitment to education and thought leadership. As a leading entity in the field of luxury goods, the Chalhoub Group represents the quality of partnerships that AUS associates with."
The AUS Chancellor also highlighted the luxury courses AUS offers in cooperation with Chalhoub Group. "At AUS, it has been our mission to engage with industry and society and to act as a bridge between the two. Our luxury course offerings have been growing since 2012 when we first introduced a 400-level senior luxury brand management course. Over the past two years, we have introduced two new luxury courses-one in fashion marketing and one on the 'business of luxury'-and student demand to take these courses has been extremely high. With almost 90 registered students across all three luxury courses, the university's commitment to the luxury brand industry is growing stronger."
A keynote presentation followed by Patrick Chalhoub, co-CEO of the Chalhoub Group, who presented the content of the Chalhoub Group's third White Paper "Luxury in the Gulf: A Sustainable Future." A panel discussion with key players in the sustainability field in the GCC and abroad helped the audience get a broader and clearer idea on the challenges, priorities and opportunities related to sustainability in the GCC.
Sustainability in the Gulf is a subject that is gaining more emphasis at the government level, corporate level and individual level. The Gulf is a society dependent on energy and non-renewable resources and suffering from high youth unemployment. The speakers discussed the solutions and initiatives that are put in place to respond to these challenges.
"As a family owned business that has been in the region for the past 60 years, we believe in the potential of this region and its youth. This is why we have chosen to place education as a main pillar within our sustainable strategy. We believe that the youth of today will be the leaders of tomorrow and it is our responsibility to give them the right tools, education and platforms to learn. We are proud of our partnership with AUS through scholarships and the Luxury Brand Management professorship that we created together two years ago. We believe that through this kind of initiative and by combining our individual efforts we will be able to contribute to the region's sustainable future," said Patrick Chalhoub, co-CEO of the Chalhoub Group.
The day concluded with an essay competition in which around 150 students participated. Students were very enthusiastic to write about the topic and share their views and understanding on sustainability.
The Luxury Brands Symposium is the first edition of a sequence of conferences that will take place every year and will focus on various topics.