All photos by Chantelle D’mello
Acclaimed Russian jewelry firm, Fabergé, best known for its gilded, jewel-encrusted ornamental eggs created for Russian Tzars of yore, is slated to release a new Qatar-inspired egg at the 2015 Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition, which held its VIP opening last night.
The egg, the first that the house has produced in ninety-nine years, will be unveiled tonight at the Al Fardan pavilion, and features hand-picked Qatari pearls from Hussain Al Fardan’s private collection interspersed with diamonds and other precious gemstones, a Fabergé representative told Doha News.
The representative added that the egg is appraised to be worth around $US2 million, and will be on sale once it’s unveiled.
The 12th annual exhibition, a five-day long event headed by the Qatar Tourism Authority, opens to the public today and features over 500 of the world’s biggest brands in Halls 3-7 at the Qatar National Convention Center.
The Al Fardan pavilion is one of the exhibition’s largest features, spanning the length of almost two of the four halls, and featuring some 70 international brands.
Also on display are three specifically-created handmade Chopard watches, priced between QR538,000 and QR972,000, embellished with pearls from the Al Fardan collection, and only for sale in Qatar.
While international brands customarily take center stage at the exhibition, where almost all pieces are on sale to the public, a few Qatari brands also have a presence this year.
A stone’s throw from Italian fine jewelry house Bvlgari, Nada Khamis M. Al Sulaiti, a Qatari designer and creator of Hairaat, a name that references the “seabed on which the choicest pearls are found,” has a QR4 million necklace on display.
The piece, a collection of diamonds, rubies, and other stones arranged in a winding branch-like creation, took over 1,200 hours to create.
It is part of Al Sulaiti’s bespoke brand, which specializes in creating custom-made pieces for a predominantly Qatari clientele.
For Al Sulaiti, who also has a full-time job, jewelry-making is more a passion than it is a business. Speaking to Doha News, she said:
“We are expanding and making ourselves more commercial this year, but for me, this is about love.
Jewelry is so much more than just pretty things. For bespoke jewelry, I look at a client’s personality, look, style, skin tone, structure. Everything is tailored to fit the client, and in a symbiosis that brings out the best in both the jewelry and the person.”
Her business, which began in 2011, is slated to open its first boutique this year at the Gate Mall, in an effort to make the brand more accessible.
Elsewhere, Qela, a homegrown brand, is also displaying several pieces including a diamond bracelet featuring 693 full diamonds, locally cultured pearls, rubies in deep “Qatari” maroon, and jewelry inspired by local flowers, and desert sculptures.
The exhibition is open from noon to 10pm most days, and from 4pm to 10pm on Friday. It closes on Saturday, Feb. 28.
Children under 12 years old are not allowed. Visitors are required to register onsite with their Qatar IDs or passports, but can save time by pre-registering online here.
Do you plan to check it out? Thoughts?