Suad Al-Riyami

Suad Al-Riyami

Co-Founder, Deema Oman
Yahya M. Al Zadjali

Yahya M. Al Zadjali

Chairman, Raydan Perfumes
The special touch in the jewelry and perfume businesses below is the local Omani touch that has attracted fans from all over the world.

What is the story behind the brand?

SUAD AL-RIYAMI My mother started Deema in 2008. She was always interested in design and painting, even though her job was in finance. She started creating some jewelry pieces after work using old Omani silver elements and mixing them with Swarovski crystals and pearls to make necklaces and earrings. She eventually developed a collection of around 100 pieces and decided to establish a brand. We set up Deema in 2008 and named it after my younger sister. We were the first Omani fine jewelry company to be registered in Oman. We created a logo and launched our first exhibition in January 2009. Everything was sold out in the first half hour even though it was meant to be a three-day exhibition. My mother left her day job, and focused completely on Deema in 2011. I returned to Oman from the UK in 2012 and joined Deema full time. At the moment, I am in charge of marketing, PR, and legal for Deema.

YAHYA M. AL ZADJALI After retiring from the government services in 2006, I began preparing a valuable book on the frankincense tree, which is abundant in the southern region of Oman (previously known as the kingdom of Raydan), where I found out about the benefits of frankincense's aroma. Within a year, I established House of Raydan Perfumes and started producing pure frankincense fragrance, extracted from the frankincense tree. In the Cannes perfume exhibition in France 2007 alongside international perfumes, we received great approval and encouragement from the largest perfume producers since the smell of frankincense perfume was distinct to the public. This strengthened the confidence in our company, and when we returned to the Sultanate we added new fragrances in order to include many other types of scents. One day I received a call from a prominent personality in the Gulf to produce a special perfume in large quantities. In 2011, we came up with the idea of opening sales outlets in GCC countries and in Europe as well.

How do you set yourself apart from the competition in the luxury segment?

SAR Exclusivity. All our products are extremely exclusive. We do not mass produce and are a boutique brand. Some of our jewelries are one-off pieces. Originality of design is another factor. We do keep up with trends; however, because we add the Omani touch to each and every product that we design, it stands out and looks different. The luxury industry in general has been growing. People appreciate luxury items and the exclusivity that it offers. In Oman, there are not many local luxury brands, but this industry is growing as more and more luxury brands are being launched locally all serving a niche market.

YMAZ In the Gulf, people are always asking for new perfumes around the two major holidays. Therefore, we launch one or two perfumes for each holiday, which means three or four new perfumes per year. We offer two types of perfumes, Arab and western, that are customized to the customers. The government still accounts for 45% of our sales but the rest are walk-in customers and that is who I am focused on. I am keen to hear their suggestions and understand their feedback. This allows me to further develop our perfumes based on customers' needs.

What are your objectives for the next 12 months?

SAR We will focus on our participation at the Expo 2020, interior design service and everyday fine jewelry. From COVID-19, we learned that people are dressing more casually, as there are not many events. They are more into everyday luxury, rather than statement pieces. We have a new line—Effortlessly Deema—that is set to launch in summer with everyday pieces that one can wear from day to night and go with any look. We will concentrate more on that segment, which we have not done in the past.

YMAZ Our plan is to spread our branch network across Europe, although I am pleased with the business in Oman. The main thing about our product is that we always use natural ingredients, which is expensive, but people seem to prefer the natural route. We supply to the palace, certain ministries, large companies, and other VIPs who request special box editions for their guests, customers, or staff. This has created a great environment for us to grow and experiment in with new products.

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