WWD.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/sheik-bringing-chic-to-dubai-738749/

PARIS — Sheik Majed Al-Sabah — the Kuwaiti retailer who brought Stella McCartney to the desert and put Gucci’s Domenico De Sole on a camel for the launch of his Villa Moda store last year — is taking his retail banner to Dubai.

This story first appeared in the February 24, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Confirming a report in WWD on Jan. 21, Al-Sabah said the 22,000-square-foot Villa Moda unit is slated to open in November in the Emirates Towers Hotel and business complex with a retro-futuristic decor and a broad range of international fashion brands.

The franchise will be owned by a Dubai real estate firm and will bring Al-Sabah’s service and design-intensive concept to a region with few multibrand destinations. Al-Sabah said he’s still negotiating with luxury groups for three available flagships, but brands already on board include Marni, Yohji Yamamoto, Stella McCartney, Missoni, Helmut Lang, Junya Watanabe and Michael Kors.

Unlike the Kuwait Villa Moda, which relies almost exclusively on local clients, the Dubai location will depend on tourists, notably from Russia and Eastern Europe, for about half of its sales, Al-Sabah said.