Dubai is becoming the springboard for fashion accessories, according to Mohamediqbal Yacoobali, CEO Dune International. “A clear indication of this comes from the success of Dune International, which has witnessed a 22 per cent increase in sales in the local market compared to last year,” the CEO of the luxury brand pointed out. “Our products are becoming better and our operational team is also becoming stronger,” stated Yacoobali in an exclusive interview with The Gulf Today recently. The London-based company, a pioneer in fashionable and quality footwear for both men and women, besides ladies handbags, has been celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It has strong presence of 22 stores across the Middle East, including Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Over the last 20 years, Dune has rapidly expanded to include over 45 standalone stores and 165 ladies’ and 70 men’s concessions in leading department stores across Europe, Russia and the Middle East. The company has introduced new season collections every two weeks. With the franchise, it is offering new collections outside the UK every month bringing out a range of products focusing on every segment of society, especially the affluent, independent women. “Every woman wants to look beautiful with unique fashion wares and at our stores they have all the stylish footwares and handbags to fulfill their high-end fashionable look demand,” he added. Dune International has been in the Middle East for the last 10 years with exclusive franchise with the Apparel Group. “Thanks to the collaboration with Apparel, we have been present in six GCC countries. We are soon opening outlets in Kuwait and Oman,” he said. He termed the UAE as strong foundation for Dune International and having the “lion’s share” in the Middle East market. “Here (in UAE) we planted the seeds with solid foundation and it is the place from where we easily look after the other markets in the region. Dubai is a great place to showcase the brand and Dubai Mall is another major attraction as the biggest mall having the flow of tourists from all over the world,” he added. Dune International has been catering to the demands of fashionable consumers not only from the local community but also from other countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and others visiting the UAE. “In the local market, we have some competitors but they are not going with us head-to-head as some of them are competing in a particular category and not in all collection as we are offering affordable luxury,” Yacoobali said. The company has been outsourcing products from all over the world, including Brazil, Europe, China and many other countries to meet the demands and expanding the brand in other markets. “In Europe, we are present on key locations and next year we are focusing on Far East markets, including India and others,” he said.