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Maha Al Sibai Jewellery

Art to Adornment

In exclusive with Ms.Maha Al Sibai, Founder & Director, Maha Al Sibai Jewellery, The New Jeweller UAE bureau gets to know her inspiration to create masterpieces in Jewellery. In this interview she also spells her future plans and opines on her interest in expanding in the reputed retail chains. Excerpts:

Jewellery Designers in Dubai have scaled up and expanded well. What are the key factors that according to you have helped the Jewellery Design fraternity to grow and expand from Dubai?

Dubai has been the world gold and Jewellery trade centre for decades, and in the current decade it has become a major capital for jewellery manufacturing as well. Many factories have been established that created hunger for new designs.

The industry is defined by a triangle - Design, Manufacture, and Retail. If any of the three is missing, none of the other two can survive.

The Expo 2020 DUBAI is successfully being organised in Dubai. What would be the key takeaways from the EXPO 2020 for the jewellery designers as we understand the gem and jewellery sector is being very well promoted during the expo 2020 by various country pavilions.

Very much true, the jewellery sector is one of the most important segment that is being hugely promoted in EXPO2020 and as we can see, designers are well presented in many pavilions specially the Emirati pavilion. What I can say and what I always think is that jewellery design is one of the expressive art, that can tell a lot. And the message will always reach when it is genuine and inspired by the origin and not by borrowed inspirations.

Tell us something about Maha Al Sibai Jewellery and its exquisiteness? Do also talk about your latest creations that you have launched for high net worth customers?

Thanks for the compliment, I’m glad that you describe it has exquisite as my jewellery always tells a story. My stories come right from my heart and are genuine life experiences. For example, all of my collections tell a story like Damascene Jasmin, Love Letters, Female of Light, and recently launched Asala collection. Asala in Arabic means authentic and is inspired by the heritage Emirati culture and civilization. I used a link from a very famous heritage piece of jewellery that was worn on the head (Altasa). This link was very minor and unnoticeable but I loved it, and created the whole jewellery line around it. When I was creating the line, I did a research about the heritage jewellery in the GCC. I had to go through the long journey of gold trade in the region and discover the source of the design inspirations and where it was done and how . Eventually this particular link that I used carried Inspiration from all the regions where the journey passes from India through all geographic regions till it reaches the Emirates. That is why the collection focuses on the well known stones that comes from every region that it passed, for example pearls and mother of pearls from the Gulf going to the region of Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Jade, Onyx, Cornelian, Tiger Eye, etc. all the way to India.

What is your opinion on partnering with large Retailers in the region? Do you find an opportunity here and how can the partnership be fruitful for Maha Al Sibai Jewellery as well as the Jewellery Retailer?

I am very much open about the idea. In fact, I love it. I think at this phase of my design history after building a wide range of individual clients, I am open to work on a bigger scale with bigger companies who have multi branches where both parties can fulfill the needs of a wider range of customer tastes. Shaking hands together will have a stronger impact.

Tell us about the expansion of Maha Al Sibai into the watch segment? What prompted you to do this and how is the response?

I have been creating some custom design watches for individual clients for years. They are those who wish to have a unique time-piece of jewelry art and made only for them. Sometimes, it carried personal initials too. I enjoyed doing this and wish to continue on a bigger scale, like having a statement creation that carries my signature, and being able to put in the map of the International watch segment. Though, I think this project needs to be well studied because i know what consumers would buy when it comes to a certain type of jewellery but I am not an expert with the taste of watch lovers, and I feel it would be only successful by collaborating with one of the companies who are experts in that field rather than doing this alone.

What are your expansion plans in Dubai as well as International Markets in the near future?

In the year 2018, I had 3 selling points out of the UAE, in Paris and the Middle East. During the pandemic, we stopped our agreements and have not resumed yet. This is because the markets out of the UAE are still not fully active, but I believe that in the Year 2022 we will resume and physically expand. On the other hand, I had my online boutique active since 2018 at that time we were almost the one of the few jewellery boutiques online in the region. At the moment, we are focusing on online more because we feel that the whole world is moving towards online purchases, specifically in the category of small gift items which allows us to also improve our logistics and shipping services.

What inspires Maha Al Sibai as an artist?

Inspiration in fact cannot be specified by certain elements, it can be a moment, a story, a person, or a place that inspire you. But I can say if something touches your heart it can inspire you and make your story ready to be put on papers, colors, pencils, to the next phase of a real 3D piece of jewellery.

In not more than three words can you describe Maha Al Sibai Jewellery?

Artistic, Meticulous, Exquisite.