Since the beginning of the 21st century, the Middle East has become more and more closely linked to the word “luxury.” This trend is gaining ground thanks, in part, to a growing luxury sector in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which are home to a number of malls offering high-end items.
All across the entire Middle East, however, the growing net worth of residents is enabling individuals to indulge in many types of luxury goods and experiences. In order to cater to this growing market, a number of entrepreneurs have established startups that fulfill the various luxury needs of residents of the Middle East.
Here are a few of the startups that are helping bring more luxury to the region:
Though it is headquartered in Amman, Jordan, Wysada serves clients throughout the Middle East as a purveyor of luxury interior goods. Since its inception, the startup has become well-known for offering a diverse range of high-end products.
While browsing Wysada, customers can find everything from luxury silverware to contemporary home lighting. The company also hosts theme-based sales on its site that make it easy for customers to create fully-furnished luxury spaces.
In addition to décor, Wysada sources and sells unique outdoor furnishings and even fashion pieces. As such, the startup is able to cater to any and all luxury needs of its clients.
The Luxury Closet
Established in 2011, The Luxury Closet is the Middle East’s premier online source of pre-owned luxury products. Founder Kunal Kapoor launched the startup after celebrating early success in the fashion industry and has since leveraged this experience to pique the interest of clients throughout the Middle East.
Under his guidance, The Luxury Closet has formulated a business model around the idea of purchasing luxury goods from individuals and selling them to other clients at a reduced price. This makes it easier than ever for Middle Eastern consumers to acquire products that they may not otherwise be able to afford.
By offering brands ranging from Louis Vuitton to Chanel, The Luxury Closet has amassed a monthly following of more than 150,000 users.
The Luxury Closet has complemented its success by attracting the attention of several venture capital entities in the Middle East. After garnering over $2 million during a round of Series A funding in 2015, the firm raised a staggering $7.8 million in 2016 after receiving funding from such entities as Wamda Capital and Saned Partners.
According to The Luxury Closet, these contributions will help with its marketing work and the development of its upcoming mobile application.
The Dubai-based BySymphony became the first company of its kind to offer a variety of luxury brands to clients when it opened its doors in 2010. Since then, the startup has flourished from a small physical storefront to a vast online marketplace curating a collection of designer fashion for women.
In order to better serve its Middle Eastern clients, BySymphony most recently launched a website. There, individuals can peruse and purchase all manner of luxury clothing, accessories, and shoes.
The company also serves as a source for high-end lifestyle materials through its magazine Notes BySymphony, which features fashion content and promotes the work of global fashion designers.
Entrepreneurs Damiana Foscari and Rasha Khouri founded DIA-Style in 2012, after they realized that there were very few large web-based luxury marketplaces in the Middle East. This largely untapped market enabled them to build a startup that pairs a traditional online retail experience with a fully Arabic interface.
Today, DIA-Style includes more than 50,000 luxury items offered across 1,200 different brands. Such a diverse product array ensures that its clients can remain current with emerging fashion trends from across the globe.
DIA-Style also boasts a unique social community called Play, which enables users to connect with one another and create their own fashion Lookbooks.
In March 2016, THE LIST made its debut to a crowd of supporters and global luxury brands at Dubai’s 101 Privè. Mirroring its extravagant launch, the startup offers access to a wide array of uncommon, ultra-luxury items.
THE LIST locates and selects its stock from across the entire globe and sells it to those living throughout the Middle East. Clients can connect with the startup whether they are looking to sell their luxury goods or source new ones.
From one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry to high-tech helicopters, THE LIST can connect its clients with nearly any item. In addition, they can offer high-end concierge services that ensure completely personalized luxury experiences.
The Travel Attaché
One of the Middle East’s most untapped luxury markets is travel, a sector that one local startup seeks to fill. Leveraging almost a decade of experience in this industry, the team at The Travel Attaché supplies its clients with highly personalized travel experiences in all corners of the globe.
Whether clients want to stay at a resort in Kenya or spend a week at a chalet in Seychelles, they can work with the startup to plan truly unforgettable vacations. The Travel Attaché can also arrange for its Middle Eastern customers to partake in a variety of opulent experiences ranging from sporting excursions to safaris.
The startup does offer a number of pre-arranged travel options. However, clients are welcome to build entirely unique luxury vacations alongside its team of travel professionals.