A pink taxi

A pink taxi

October 2, 2010

Rolex Tower

At the end of every final, Roger Federer digs into his tennis bag and swiftly puts his Rolex watch on his wrist. It is too heavy of a watch to play tennis with, but it is a trophy watch, worthy of a tennis champion receiving his award.

There was a time, long ago, when you could buy a Rolex watch in only three cities: Geneva, Hong Kong and NYC. In 2010, Dubai can certainly be considered to be Rolex City with the number of watches sold almost equivalent to the large North American market.

The crown of Dubai is the brand new Rolex Tower. Green and slick it stands elegantly on Sheikh Zayed Road, half way between Emirates Towers and Burj Khalifa. In elegance, it surpasses Dussit  Dubai on its side and Shangrila that it faces. It fits in perfectly with the UP tower by Foster, just behind it. This will be the new residence of my nephew Ali and his lovely parents. I wish them health and happiness in their new home. They made a great decision with the choice of a Seddiqi building.

The Seddiqi brothers are long time friends of my father's. Their friendship goes back to the seventies. In the eighties, they were office neighbors in Deira and  they saw each other almost daily when they were in Deira Tower, then the best office address after the Trade Center. Today, they remain office neighbors, as the Seddiqis and my father have moved to Capricorn Tower, the other Seddiqi high rise, in the heart of DIFC, a three minute walk from Emirates Towers, on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Capricorn Tower is where we live and work. My husband has his office just an elevator ride away from his home. We enjoy living in this modern tower with impeccable design and appreciate the very good maintenance. We especially enjoy the company of our neighbors, many of them our very good friends.

The Seddiqi brothers have a love and taste for high quality finishings and luxuruous design.  These are apparent in the two towers, which are incidentally and coincidentally a metro stop apart; each one is a step away from the metro's mouth or should I say overpass. These overpasses give us access to the more commercial side of Shaikh Zayed Road, therefore making our neighborhood a very pedestrian and urban one.

Every time I get on the high way, I notice the Sediqqi advertisement on Shaikh Zayed Road. It changes as frequently as my blog photos! I can only notice how dynamic their business is by the rapidly changing advertisements. They have show rooms in every large mall in Dubai: and with each store a very precise decor for the jewellery and watches they sell. They are always advertising one of their twenty high end brands because they are not just the agents of Rolex but also for Patek Philippe and Chopard and many other Swiss watches.

This brings me to an old anecdote that occured in Switzerland. I was a fifteen year old boarding school student walking on a Saturday on the infamous Rue du Rhone when an Arab gentleman with a map stopped me for directions. Either he looked familiar or I did, but soon enough, Mr Seddiqi introduced himself and told me he was my father's friend. Geneva is a small city!

It was 1985 and we couldn't have predicted that Dubai would expand the way it did in twenty five years. It is through the vision of the ruler and the entrepreneurial spirit of the merchant families like the Gargash and the Seddiqis and the AlGhurairs that Dubai is and will remain very dynamic.

2 comments:

  1. My first encounter with Ahmad Seddiqi&Sons was when I visited the small store in the old souq of Dubai.The founder Ahmad Seddiqi was a tall slendour gentleman,soft spoken and welcoming.My father in law had given my wife a lovely golden Rolex on the birth of her first child.It was my wife's treasured belonging at a time only the lucky few had the beautiful Oyster!
    Time passed by,and I became neighbours with the head office of AS&S in Nasr Square,and got to know the three brothers the late Ibrahim,Abdul Majid and Abdul Hamid.I would get a phone call whenever the new collector's watches would arrive.I have always loved watches,so I became a small collector,passing many stainless steel Rolexes to my children upon reaching the age of 16,and more precious models upon graduation or marriage occasions.
    When the Seddiqis built their first Tower on Sheik Zayed Rd in 2003,I moved in with them and was their first tennant.When they finished their second Tower in 2010,my son who just moved from NYC, was their first tennant.He feels that he has not left Manhattan,but as a matter of fact,he moved to more luxury than he expected!
    I have a great admiration for the hard working family of three generations,where now the third generation of both men and women have taken positions in the AS&S organization,to assure excellence,similar to that of their Swiss watches.

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