Billed as the most prestigious jewelry showcase in the region and among the largest in the world, the annual Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition 2016 (DJWE) is famed for its extensive selection of notable exhibitors in the jewelry and watch industry. In its 13th edition (its largest to date), the five-day showcase that is taking place at the new Doha Exhibition and Convention Center is currently underway and will run until February 27th. Held under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the prime minister and interior minister of Qatar, and organized by the Qatar Tourism Authority, DJWE distinguishes itself for offering never before seen pieces, displaying record breaking gemstones, one-of-kind creations, and exceptional decorative objects.
A sparkling fantasy, the exhibit welcomes visitors to explore over 500 brands participating from 27 countries. Leading international names such as Graff, Van Cleef & Arpels, David Webb, Cartier and Chopard are displayed among premiere regional fine jewelry labels including the likes of Al Fardan Jewellery, Ali Bin Ali, Amiri Gems, and Al Majed Jewellery.
Pieces showcased for the first time include Bil Arabi designer Nadine Kanso’s “Ya Noor El Ain” ring in collaboration with renowned pearl jeweler Robert Wan, which Style.com/Arabia first broke the news of here. Meanwhile, at the Chanel booth located in the Fifty One East pavilion, and encased inside a captivating nature-inspired window display, is a handcrafted white gold double lion table clock featuring black obsidian, crystal and diamonds—a one-of-a-kind piece exclusively made for DJWE 2016.
The exhibition also shines light on the Gulf’s pearl-trading heritage represented through Al Fardan Jewellery founder Hussein Al Fardan’s largest single collection of loose natural pearls. While on display at Robert Wan, are three exclusive sets designed with the first pearl harvests of the brand’s pearl farms in Qatar.
Exhibiting for the first time at DJWE is the regional favorite Suzanne Kalan. The LA-based designer shared with Style.com Arabia her take on Middle Eastern clients compared to her customers back home, “The women here love jewelry, they know exactly what they want, and they buy for themselves. It doesn’t matter what the price is—they don’t’ wait for their husbands to come and make the purchase.” She added, “Arab women have great taste, are very knowledgeable, well-traveled, and [they are] very informed. Arab women are also always on top of trends—I think more so than women from the rest of the world.”
Among some of this year’s regional highlights is the Qatar-based jewelry label Papillon, which is known for feminine and modern pieces with an Arabic touch that celebrates Qatari women. Meanwhile, Jeddah-based jewelry label Charmaleena Jewellery founded by sisters Leena and Hala El Khereiji returned this year, with fine jewelry lines inspired by strong messages that reflect the heritage and beauty of the region. Some of the signature pieces showcased can be transformed from a pendant into a set of earrings as featured in the Freedom collection. Another collection showcased is Swords of Love, “A reminder that love should be your weapon,” Leena El Khereiji described; while Edges of Nature is a collection featuring palm tree pendants set with precious gemstones. “I couldn’t find a better tree that resembled strength, growth, and life like this tree,” the designer added.
In addition to exhibitors, this year’s activities include seminars, on location gem certifications courtesy the International Gemological Institute, and interactive jewelry workshops. The latter puts the spotlight on Qatari jewelry brand Witr, which means “one-of-a-kind” in Arabic. Founded by Reem Al-Shamari, Witr holds an international patent for her innovative technique of transforming an individual’s eye print into a piece of jewelry.
Complementing the designer’s jewelry exhibit is the workshop where visitors can get a 3D-print of their eye to place an order for their eye print to be carved into a personalized piece of jewelry that can be customized with white or black diamonds.