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Comité Colbert Looks to Middle East

Comité Colbert, France’s main luxury goods association, focuses its international activities on markets including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

PARIS — The “Sex and the City” girls aren’t the only ones heading to the Middle East.

This story first appeared in the May 19, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

After staging several events in China last year, Comité Colbert, France’s main luxury goods association, is focusing its international activities in 2010 on markets including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “We continued to see significant growth in this region in 2009, and it was not limited to Dubai. The development of the region has spanned all the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council,” said Comité Colbert president Elisabeth Ponsolle des Portes.

For the first edition of its new Creation and Heritage Prize, the organization will reward Bahrain’s Culture and Information Minister Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed al-Khalifa in a ceremony in Paris on June 7. The prize will be handed over by Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO.

On Oct. 7, the Comité Colbert will stage an event in Lebanon to coincide with the publication of the Arabic version of “Les mots du luxe,” an exploration of the language of luxury by linguist Alain Rey. And from Oct. 20 to 30, it will stage an exhibition of one-of-a-kind objects at the Dubai Mall under the heading “Les objets de rêve” (“Dream objects”), which will guide visitors to participating stores.

Some 30 French companies are taking part in the event, with larger brands partnering with other houses that symbolize French know-how. Christian Dior, for instance, will be housing a creation by crystal manufacturer Baccarat.