Emirati Designer Shamsa Alabbar Discusses Her New Fine Jewellery Project

Lindsay Judge   |   13-03-2024

After being inspired to design jewellery by a gift given to her by her father as a child, Shamsa Alabbar taught herself how to create beautiful jewellery creations.

She opened her own brand after realising her talent for design could be something more than a passion project. Her first piece was created as a gift for her best friend, but it soon became a business, and Shamsa Alabbar jewellery was launched in 2013.

Ten years later Shamsa is expressing her desire to give back to the industry she loves. Inspired by her father Mohammed Alabbar’s entrepreneurship, she decided to open her own jewellery concept that brings together talented jewellers under one roof. Fine Arts Jewellery, a new retail space at Dubai Mall founded by Shamsa Alabbar, features a carefully curated selection of jewellery designers who share a common fresh perspective in the realm of high-end jewellery. The boutique features both regional and international brands including AS29, Mellerio, Rouvenat, Selim Mouzannar, Vever, and Viltier, as well as Shamsa Alabbar’s own jewellery line. Here we find out more about the opening of the boutique and the future of the local designer’s own brand.

Tell us about Fine Arts Jewellery and what inspired you to create this space.

I have been immersed in the jewellery industry for the past decade. As a passionate jewellery enthusiast, I felt inspired to bring together a community of talented jewellers whose work I deeply admire. It has always been my dream to curate a collection of exquisite pieces from around the world, creating a captivating space that serves as a beautiful home for these masterfully crafted creations.

Tell us about the product selection and what visitors can expect to find in store. 

At Fine Arts Jewellery, we prioritise exclusivity and quality when selecting the brands we carry. Our collection caters to a wide range of tastes and preferences, offering both perfect gift options and pieces that you would be delighted to purchase for yourself. Our goal is to provide visitors with a carefully chosen selection of jewellery that is both remarkable and unique.

What are the criteria for the brands selected to be part of the store?

Fine Arts Jewellery places particular emphasis on selecting brands that possess unique stories and craftsmanship. The chosen brands have a distinct niche in the market and offer exclusive designs. By focusing on these criteria, Fine Arts Jewellery ensures that each brand featured in the store embodies a level of artistry and exclusivity that sets them apart from mainstream jewellery offerings.

What are your thoughts on some of the jewellery brands in the UAE and the region?

I am incredibly proud of how the local jewellery industry in the UAE has been flourishing in recent years. The emergence of new designers and the support given to local talents is truly inspiring. I am thrilled to be a part of this vibrant industry and witness its growth.

How would you describe the industry as a whole in the UAE and on a regional level?

The jewellery industry in the UAE is flourishing, with strong support for local talent and a sense of pride in their achievements. Our community is known for its unwavering commitment to nurturing and uplifting its creative individuals, making it a vibrant and thriving industry.

Tell us about your own brand and the direction for that.

Shamsa Alabbar Jewelry, my personal collection, recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. It began as a birthday gift for my best friend and has blossomed into something truly remarkable. The designs are inspired by Arabic typography and represent the strength and modernity of Arab women. Each piece in the collection is meticulously crafted and encapsulates the essence of our heritage in a contemporary and fashionable way. It is a source of great pride for me and a reflection of my journey in the jewellery industry.

Can you talk about your latest and upcoming collections?

This year, we have several exciting collaborations and collections in the pipeline. We are constantly exploring new possibilities to bring fresh and innovative designs to our customers. We are also planning to participate in various exhibitions and events to showcase our brand and connect with jewellery enthusiasts.

What is your first memory of jewellery?

My first memory of jewellery stems from a cherished gift my father gave me when I was just nine years old: a white gold Cartier Love bracelet. Even at such a young age, I could appreciate the bracelet’s significance and symbolism, and it sparked a lifelong fascination with jewellery. Additionally, my mother’s stunning collection of jewellery has always served as a great inspiration for me. I have immense admiration for her beautiful pieces, and they have played a pivotal role in shaping my appreciation for the artistry and craftsmanship of jewellery.

What inspires you to design?

My designs are inspired by Arabic typography and represent the strength and modernity of Arab women. Each piece in the collection is meticulously crafted and encapsulates the essence of our heritage in a contemporary and fashionable way. It is a source of great pride for me and a reflection of my journey in the jewellery industry.

Who are some of the designers that you admire?

I have great admiration for all the designers whose brands we carry at Fine Arts. I truly appreciate how they complement one another in our curated collection. These designers have made remarkable contributions to the fashion industry, showcasing their creativity, innovation, and unique design aesthetics. I feel privileged to be able to offer their exceptional work to our customers.

What is the professional motto you live by? 

My professional motto is: “There is a solution to every challenge.” While working in the challenging field of Fine Arts, I have come to realize that no matter how daunting a problem may seem, there is always a way to overcome it. This mindset has helped me tackle obstacles with confidence and determination, ultimately finding resolutions that lead to success.

What is the biggest challenge that you face in what you do?

I would say that not being a jewellery designer by profession is one of my biggest challenges. I have been working in the industry for the past 10 years, and this experience has presented me with the unique challenge of continuously learning and growing my knowledge in the field. It has required dedication, perseverance, and a commitment to staying updated with the latest trends and techniques. Overcoming this challenge has allowed me to develop a keen eye for design and a deep understanding of jewellery craftsmanship.