India’s booming $50bn wedding market



University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) has launched a Masters’ degree – Global Executive Master in Luxury Management (GEMLux), tailored to support emerging luxury markets such as New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai.

The country’s luxury sector is set to be worth over US$30 billion by the end of the year, growing at 26% year on year. At the forefront of this luxury sector is India’s booming US$50 billion wedding market.

Created in partnership with the prestigious Italian business school, Politecnico di Milano’s Graduate School of Business (MIP), the degree is designed to help meet the growing demand for highly-skilled professionals in the luxury sector and focuses on implementing best-in-class managerial practices in the luxury goods and services segments.

India and UAE have long enjoyed a strong relationship built on mutual trust and cooperation, said UOWD, the first international university and highest ranked Australian university in the United Arab Emirates.

The two countries have shared strategic relations for decades and over the past few years this has strengthened significantly across areas such as economics, politics, trade and culture, where Indians serve as the largest expat population in the UAE.

The luxury goods and services market is valued at US$1.35 trillion globally with 5% annual growth in the coming years, according to Bain & Company.

As the fastest growing major economy in the world, India presents exceptional potential for the luxury sector.

Increasingly more international luxury brands are paying close attention to India’s affluent consumers leading to a boom in the increase in both spending and the set-up of luxury brands in the subcontinent, noted UOWD in a release on 6 Jan 2020.

Experts estimate that the luxury market in India will expand five-fold over the next three years as the number of millionaires in the country continues to grow.

A recent study by consulting firm Deloitte and the Retailers Association of India indicates that millennials are now making up 34% of the total population in the country.

Millennials in India are the fastest growing consumer base recording the highest spend on luxury products.

Keeping in line with the increased demand of the luxury sectors in this emerging market, there is a growing need to empower graduates with the necessary skills to cater to this highly personable and specialized segment.

Qualified graduates with an understanding of luxury management for both well-established and new brands are necessary to fulfil gaps in these growing sectors.

To be offered in UOWD’s campus in Dubai from March 2020, the dual GEMLux degree is designed to empower professionals to evolve as luxury brand managers, fashion retail buyers, PR specialists, creative directors, brand ambassadors and visual merchandising executives, catering to luxury segments based on products, experiences, travel and hospitality.

This degree will enable graduates to be internationally qualified and work within these growing luxury sectors around the world.

As part of the four-semester curriculum, students will travel to prominent luxury shopping and fashion capitals including Dubai, Milan, Geneva and Paris to participate in factory tours, as well as visit the headquarters of luxury brands, exhibitions and industry fairs while gaining exposure to game changers in luxury sectors.

UOWD President Professor Mohammed Salem said: “As a centre of tourism and a major luxury shopping destination, along with the city being one of the safest in the world, Dubai is considered one of the major hubs for young working professionals seeking to enter the luxury management field.

“India’s proximity and connectivity to Dubai continues to encourage Indian expatriates to make their home in here. Today, the UAE counts Indians as the biggest expat population in the country.

“At UOWD, we see an opportunity for us to train the next generation of luxury managers,” said Prof. Mohammed Salem.

“Dubai’s position as a leading luxury market provides students with an opportunity to learn in one of the world’s most exciting destinations. UOWD’s GEMLux program is being introduced to help meet the growing demand for highly skilled professionals in the luxury sector. It is also a big draw for people who wish to deepen their knowledge of management and enhance their creative and managerial skills in these fields.”

The GEMLUX degree features course highlights including strategy, contract negotiation, luxury customer experience design and marketing, supply chain management, brand management, distribution and more.

The existing eco system for Indian students in the UAE, proximity, and opportunities in both UAE and international markets, make Dubai an ideal choice for students looking for an international experience. The postgraduate program comes in response to the high uptake the UAE and India’s luxe markets have enjoyed.

As an eligibility criterion, the course mandates candidates to possess 2 years’ work experience.

Established in 1993 by the University of Wollongong Australia, UOWD is accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the UAE Ministry of Education – Higher Education Affairs, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and licensed by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Offering over 40 higher education programs across 10 categories, the university has over 3,400 students and supports a network of more than 11,000 alumni.


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