ASSERTING GLOBAL DOMINANCE

Saudi Arabia 2018-19 | ENTERTAINMENT, CULTURE & SPORTS | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Abdullah Al Darwish, CEO of Arabian Oud, on the fragrances and perfumes market, expanding to other countries, and sustainable sourcing of ingredients.

Abdullah Al Dawaish

The global market for fragrances and perfumes is projected to reach USD51 billion by 2022. How does this figure reflect your operations and what are your expectations?

There is a huge demand for oud, oil, incense, and perfumes, not just from established clientele, but also from newer generations as well. Sales expected to increase in Saudi Arabia, the GCC, and the rest of the world. The Saudi manufacturing industry has a huge capacity, with a global reach, and can compete in Europe. One such market where we have enjoyed great success is the French market.

What is your core vision on expanding to new markets, and what further expansion do you have in the pipeline?

We are expanding to 1,000 branches around the world, and our aim is to open more branches in the US, Europe, and East Asia. One of our latest milestones is opening a flagship store in Times Square in New York. Over the recent past we have also opened our first branches in Russia, Turkey, and South Africa.

What is your vision on women empowerment within Arabian Oud and how do you strive for greater female participation?

We have recruited more than 400 women for a new female-only factory and we are looking to recruit more. On top of this, we are now increasing our overall female recruitment, especially for our stores in mall venues. In terms of executive female positions, we are working to recruit them in a suitable environment.

Can you tell us more about your green agenda?

Arabian Oud invests in agarwood farms in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. These farms are famous in several high-quality sourcing breeds such as aquilaria malaccensis, aquilaria SPP, aquilaria sinensis, and aquilaria crassna. We also send teams that travel across Indonesian and Malaysian forests to find the best Aryan, Maroki, and Kalimantan agarwood as well as Malino and Sabah agarwood that result in the finest oud, incense, and oil.

What are your primary ambitions for the coming years?

We are currently the leading fragrance brand in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. With our global expansion plans, we seek to become a global leader as well. Arabian Oud is a unique brand that has grown to be a global representative of Saudi Arabian heritage.