Iulia Al Fardan Discusses The Heritage And Future Of UAE-Based Al Fardan Fine Jewellery

Lindsay Judge   |   28-05-2024

Al Fardan Fine Jewellery is one of the UAE’s few homegrown jewellery industry leaders.

With a heritage based on the country’s historical pearl industry, the company, which is today led by the modern mind of CEO Hasan Fardan Al Fardan, is building bridges between the history and future of the industry in the Middle East. With a rich history around pearls, Al Fardan realises that today, there is a need to reapproach traditional processes and jewellery styles in order to attract the younger generations and that’s exactly what the brand is doing. To find out more, we talk to the General Manager of Al Fardan Fine Jewellery Abu Dhabi, Iulia Al Fardan. 

Tell us about the vision and direction for Al Fardan Fine Jewellery today. 

As we navigate the future of Al Fardan Fine Jewellery, our vision remains firmly rooted in luxury as a bridge between the past and the future. Inspired by our Emirati heritage and the legacy of the pearl industry, we are committed to crafting timeless pieces that resonate across generations.

Our direction is shaped by a dedication to sustainability, ensuring that future generations can inherit not only exquisite jewellery but also a planet that thrives. We strive to integrate sustainable practices into every aspect of our business, reflecting the values of the new generation.

Moreover, we recognize that luxury is evolving, and we embrace the idea of integrating it into everyday style. We aim to empower Gen Z to express their unique style and personality through our jewellery, making luxury an accessible and meaningful part of their lives. At Al Fardan Fine Jewellery, we see ourselves not just as purveyors of luxury, but as custodians of a legacy that spans generations. Our commitment to excellence, craftsmanship, and sustainability will continue to guide us as we shape the future of luxury jewellery for years to come.

Can you share more about the brand here in the region and why it is an important market for you? 

The Middle East holds a special place in our hearts at Al Fardan Jewellery. It’s not just a market; it’s a vibrant hub of luxury and heritage, deeply intertwined with our brand’s legacy. Here, discerning tastes and a passion for quality craftsmanship inspire us to create pieces that resonate with the region’s cultural significance. Our connection to the Middle East goes beyond commerce; it’s a cherished home where tradition meets innovation, and where our commitment to excellence thrives.

How do you balance honouring the history of Al Fardan and continue to be relevant for today’s customers?

While we deeply respect our rich heritage, we understand the importance of staying relevant in today’s fast-paced world. That’s why we continuously introduce novel creations and materials, ensuring that our brand evolves in step with the dynamic landscape of modern luxury. As an example, we still have our traditional jewellery collections like Al Noor but have recently launched lighter, modern collections like Mira, ALFAbet and BonBons Perlée. These pieces are designed for layering, stacking and styling in ways the wearer sees fit – ensuring that within our collections, there will always be a piece to suit different generations and tastes. 

With the influence of social media and technology shaping the industry, we are committed to leading the charge towards the future of jewellery design with grace and sophistication.

Tell us about the brand on a global level and where we can expect more growth over the coming years. 

We recently re-launched our e-commerce platform and are currently enhancing our online presence to reach a wider audience. I think what makes us unique as a brand is our ability to not only integrate our own in-house collections but also offer access to pieces from international designers like Susana Martins and Terzihan. We aim to become a one-stop shop for all jewellery needs, covering the A-Z of what any jewellery connoisseur may need for their personal collection. 

Tell us about some of your highlight pieces and collections for this year.

This year, we have launched two collections that are extremely close to our hearts. First is the Mira collection, a testament to the twenty-first-century woman who is the architect of her own destiny, forging her own path with unwavering determination and resilience. The word Mira itself means female ruler, who is the embodiment of strength and resilience. The collection is comprised of earrings, rings and necklaces with delicate drop pearls and flawless diamonds which are designed to be used as tools for self-expression. 

Next, we have the Alma V collection, the 5th-generation in our Alma series. This collection stands as a testament to our own rich history, playing into the idea of multiple generations of the Al Fardan legacy. The core pieces within the Alma collection are inspired by the traditional Dyyin (Dean), which is a woven bag worn around the neck of divers to hold the precious oysters they collect. The Alma collection is a tribute to the Emirati heritage of pearl diving, using the intricacies of the Dyyin net as the template for its delicate design by integrating its symbolic woven construction. These delicate net designs are reflected throughout the collection, adorning its elegant bracelets, rings, and earrings, all while pearls remain a consistent presence, paying homage to pearl diving in the UAE.

As a brand you have always remained very loyal to your values and heritage – how do you balance this with moving forward to please today’s customer? 

To balance tradition with modernity, we embrace a philosophy of evolution rather than revolution. While we stay true to our core values of craftsmanship, quality, and cultural significance, we are not afraid to innovate and adapt to meet the evolving needs and desires of today’s customers. Our clientele recognizes this too, hence loyalty goes both ways, and we always see customer retention. 

How do you feel about endorsements and partnerships as a company?

When we feel the synergy, whoever that may be, a public person or a company – we love good partnerships and endorsements. Our collaborations explore different avenues, depending on the collection and occasion. 

It’s deeply meaningful for us to consistently prioritise and foster partnerships with local talents too. Over time, we’ve undertaken numerous projects dedicated to showcasing and uplifting Emirati artists, designers, and celebrities. Through these initiatives, we aim to celebrate their creativity, contribute to their success, and showcase their unique contributions to our community and beyond.

Every Ramadan, we launch a new iteration of our Al Noor collection, featuring a personal handwritten Quranic verse by Sheikha Alyazia Bint Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, making it a cherished piece for generations to come. 

In the past, we have also collaborated with Emirati AI artists, fashion designers, calligraphers, artists, singers, actors etc. to help us create bespoke displays that tell our stories for key moments like the Abu Dhabi Art Fair. 

What does Al Fardan Fine Jewellery do to connect with its clients?

Our current strategy heavily focuses on connecting with end consumers via digital platforms. “Content is king,” as they say, and we are always making sure we invest in up-to-date and engaging content. 

We are also proudly participating in key trade events, ensuring we strategically select places where we connect with people and display our curated collections, where they will resonate most with audiences.

What’s the biggest challenge you face as a brand today?

As with most luxury brands worldwide, we constantly see an abundance of new brands and oversupply. This can confuse customers, which is why we outline our heritage and legacy whilst catering to different age groups and requirements through our collections. We find it most important to establish a relationship with both existing and potential clients to showcase how our brand differs from the rest. 

Who is your customer today, and what is she looking for from jewellery?

Our customer today is a discerning connoisseur of fine jewellery—a knowledgeable individual who values curated looks and knows precisely what she wants. She seeks jewellery that transcends trends, opting for pieces that speak to her unique style and identity.

For her, jewellery is more than just adornment; it’s a reflection of her personality and values. She gravitates towards designs that embody the timeless allure of luxury and heritage while also exuding a contemporary charm.

In addition to seeking pieces that capture her individuality, our customer places a high value on authenticity and sustainability. She seeks brands that prioritise ethical sourcing and responsible practices, ensuring that her jewellery looks beautiful and aligns with her social and environmental values.

In essence, our customer today seeks jewellery that is not just fashionable but meaningful—a reflection of her refined taste, curated style, and unwavering commitment to quality and authenticity.

What else is in the pipeline for this year?

This year, Al Fardan Fine Jewellery is planning an exciting lineup of new collections, collaborations, and initiatives. We’re thrilled to introduce new designs that push the boundaries of creativity while staying true to our heritage and values.

As mentioned previously, we are expanding our digital presence to provide a seamless online shopping experience and investing in personalised services to better cater to our clientele’s unique needs and preferences.

What message would you send to our readers?

We believe that luxury is more than just material opulence. It’s a reflection of the values, stories, and aspirations that define us. Each piece we craft is imbued with a sense of history, artistry, and unparalleled beauty, inviting you to embark on a journey of elegance and sophistication. Thank you for being part of our story.