Marbella Luxury Weekend 2017: the New VIP Rendez-vous in the Mediterranean

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The Marbella Luxury Weekend is an unprecedented event in Spain, a natural luxury showcase where most Accessories, Jewellery, Watches, Yachts, Supercars, Luxury and Fashion brands are concentrated attracting prestigious VIPS & refined guests. This year the #MLW17 took place on the 1st & 2nd of June in Puerto Banus and also extended to other places in Marbella, thanks to Michelin Star Restaurants based in the Andalusian city that prepared special ephemeral luxury « limited edition menus » to kick-off the celebration days in style.

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This year, the 7th Edition of the Marbella Luxury Weekend confirmed the special relationship Top International brands seek to maintain & develop with the city of Marbella as one of the best places in the world to present their products as Marbella holds a luxury sales quota of 26%, Top selling city in Spain, behind Barcelona and above Madrid.

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The event was inaugurated by H.E Joumane Khaddage Zahalan, Chargé d’Affaires at the Lebanese Embassy in Spain under the High Patronage of the Mayor of Marbella, Sr Alcaldé José Bernal as well as Mr Miguel Gomez Molina CEO of Gomez & Molina.

Alcalde de Marbella Jose Bernal
José Bernal Alcalde de Marbella

In regards to the International relations Marbella Luxury Weekend also featured Famous Artists from Lebanon and the Middle East such as the Maestro Fashion Designer Abed Mahfouz and Artist, Singer, Composer Michel Fadel. Also, the dynamic fashion défilé of Ecaille was noticed as a Luxury brand to follow.

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Francisco Javier Porcuna Romero Teniente de Alcaldé with H.E Joumane Khaddage Zahalan Lebanese Chargé d’Affaires and Mr Miguel Gomez Molina  Photo Kamsyn

Kamsyn the Official Digital Media Partner for the Event as well as Ounousa.com sat with Jade Baldari, Co-founder of the Event; CEO of Gloocall as well as H.E Joumane Zahalan and the Maestro Designer Abed Mahfouz for a quick chat following this unique Luxury Weekend in Marbella.

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Jade Baldari Co-Founder of Marbella Luxury Weekend

What is the concept behind “Marbella Luxury Weekend” ? How did it evolve through the Editions?

Marbella Luxury weekend is an Economy booster as well as an important showcase for International Brands and services to display in a unique and exclusive atmosphere such as Puerto Banus and Marbella. The main idea is that guests and visitors in this event enjoy the festive ambiance and be able to purchase those luxury and desirable items while having fun listening to amazing artists performing live, catwalks and join interesting presentations, etc.

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The evolution of #MLW17 like any other event has been increasingly growing in quality and participating brands. The seventh edition is probably one of the most international of all editions with designers coming from Lebanon, artists from Sweden and visitors from all over the world.

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What distinguishes Marbella Luxury Weekend from other leisure projects in Spain ? Why did you choose Marbella to host this event ?

The time of the year is the key for the success of the event: mild weather, not so crowded, having it with open air next to the yachts area surrounded by the best and most luxurious brands in the world, in a very short distance to the harbour… All this makes the event unique.

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Marbella has held very important private and public events throughout the years and attracts personalities from all over the world to this magical setting.

The magnetism of Marbella´s Mountain and the incredible view of the strait of Gibraltar showing from Marbella´s seaside might be another of the main reasons to have it here.

Can you brief us please about the brands that were present during the week-end ? And which were the Key Highlights ? (such as the McLaren launch in previous editions or the Cartier necklace display)

This year we have a world premiere with the launching of the Core Mas first ever produced high technology ceramic buckle. We also have incredible art pieces of MeCre presented by Gaby Wormann for the first time in Spain, David Bowie´s tribute watch from Raymond Weil. And of course, the Italian designer Franco Pianegonda´s latest creations and the superb collection of the German firm Stenzhorn just to mention a few.

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The two-million-dollar latest Pagani design car and other brands like Maserati, Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls Royce were also seen at the MLW.

What are the leisure activities that took place during the Luxury weekend ?

Live Music, performances, super cars, catwalks, exclusive venues and limited edition menus offered by the top restaurants in town, helicopter shows all in refined and select atmosphere unique to Marbella.

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Who are the celebrities that attended the event ? Any key names you can share with us for this edition ?

Members of the Spanish royalty, aristocrats from Europe, sportsmen, business men and women, actors have been at the event, that’s why it’s recommended to look your best in MLW as you may end up sitting next to your favourite actor.

What is the Background of the main speakers invited to the Luxury weekend ?

This year we have our fantastic speakers, specialized in art, economy, marketing, high technology, luxury, golf, water resources, city development and tourism…and Marbella as the epicentre of luxury.

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The importance of Marbella holding 26% of the total sales of luxury in Spain above Madrid and below Barcelona makes this forum an optimal platform of discussion where the panel of speakers will give a very wide vision of these points and generate head letters of their speeches.

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If you are to tell readers from the Middle East one thing about Marbella Luxury Weekend what would it be ?

You are most welcome here to enjoy a different shopping experience in an amazing Andulasian city like Marbella, full of life, nice international restaurants and friendly atmosphere! We are also proud to have Gloocall as the Official app of MLW in where it was possible to purchase your VIP ticket as well as have full access to all brands and companies participating in MLW. 

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H.E Joumane Khaddage Zahalan Lebanese Chargée d’Affaires in Spain, Madrid  in front of the Portrait of Lebanese President General Michel Aoun  Photo Karim Chehab

As the dynamic Chargée D’affaires at the Lebanese Embassy in Spain, what attracted you in the initiative of Marbella Luxury Weekend ? And how are you supporting it ?

Culture plays an essential part of diplomatic missions which normally dedicate full departments to it. In the case of Lebanese Embassies, although with a scarce budget, we try not to shut doors  in the face of  events  with cultural artistic aspects. My own personal policy is even to look for similar events, support them as much as possible, and work along with the organizers to guarantee successful outcome for both, them and us.

These events are a great platform to shed lights on Lebanon, the cultural , artistic, creative, innovative tolerant Lebanon. It is part of my mission, it is also a manner of serving my country.

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The mere title of the actual event Marbella Luxury Weekend is attractive by itself: On the one hand Marbella, the famous city worldwide for its touristic distinguished services of 5 stars Standards, and on the other “Luxury” which stands for exceptional uncommon beauty…. Now add to both , Marbella and Luxury the presence of Lebanon ! How can I not be attracted by this initiative: it’s a weekend that hosted three synonyms of Beauty: Marbella, Luxury and Lebanon.

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I will be officially representing Lebanon, accompanying the Mayor of Marbella M. José Bernal, I’m honoured to inaugurate the act with him, It would be an occasion to thank him for including Lebanese artists such as the renown composer Michel Fadel , who’s music will transform the atmosphere into a more joyful one, and the creations of the worldwide red carpet designer, Abed Mahfouz. As far as I know this is the 1st event of its kind where Lebanese artists are invited to participate in Marbella, and I am gladly here to support them and support the organizers,  hoping that this even will pave the way to many others in the near future, in Marbella and elsewhere in Spain.

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H.E Khaddage Zahalan with Famous Artist & Composer Michel Fadel at the Marbella Luxury Weekend in Puerto Banus   Photo Kamsyn

What role do you think Marbella Luxury Weekend is playing in the local tourism in Marbella ? And do you consider that this initiative could be adopted as a model for other cities or maybe other countries too?

It sure will and it should. Actually Marbella is famous for its harbours with high-end yachts, and a certain upper level class of tourism from all over the world, including Lebanese, and Arab Gulf citizens. Some of them have already purchased properties in Marbella. They have chosen it for the beautiful hills and beaches, as well as the highly efficient and wise governance of its Town hall, all of which gave it an excellent reputation throughout the years.  It has been enhanced today by the security measures  invested to ensure the safety of its regular tourists, seasonal residents or other passing tourists, not to forget the local permanent inhabitants.. 

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I think The weekend is a very clever initiative, that hopefully will flourish, and give Marbella a Fashion dimension, leading it to become a Fashion city, similar to Milano, London, or New York. And yes it could be a role model to follow by other Spanish cities.

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Abed Mahfouz Runway at Marbella Luxury Weekend – Puerto Banus  Photo Kamsyn

Similarly, Spain as a whole also provides support for Marbella. Since we are talking about a country with a wide spectrum of production industries, in fashion jewelry, music, tourism…. this is somehow the distinctiveness of Spain, where a province renders benefits to the whole country while the whole country supports it back.

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Audience View    Photo Kamsyn

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How does this initiative support local brands and boost them on the international stage ? 

In line with my previous answer, Marbella is thankfully granting publicity to local brands, as well as to Lebanon. It is not a secret that the our presence in this 1st event, will put Lebanon under the proper spotlights, not only for the Spanish people , but also in the eyes of the foreigners present in Marbella, the exposure given to us is much appreciated.

I am sure next time Lebanon’s presence will be more diversified and even more luxurious, shedding more splendour on both Lebanon and Spain represented here by the city of Marbella, in the person by its Mayor M. José Bernal, whom I seize the opportunity to thank once again.

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Michel Fadel with Nadine Lenaerts and Mr Gabriel Massoud    Photo Kamsyn

Which message would you like to send to our readers from the MENA countries ?

A message of peace and coexistence. As a Lebanese, and like my Phoenician ancestors, I carry in my blood the aspiration to new horizons, tolerance, and curiosity to get to know the other with love and Respect. The Phoenicians stepped on all MENA shores, and left their immortal imprints and values. So did the Arabs of the Andalus. 

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Abed Mahfouz Runway at Marbella Luxury Weekend – Puerto Banus   Photo Kamsyn

Thus my message to the MENA countries would be : We are all Mediterranean’s , don’t look far, dig within you, you have all this Legacy and Heritage to give life again for peace & tolerance, and preserve diversity which is our main treasure for a better future.

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Express Q & A with the Maestro Abed Mahfouz, known worldwide for his distinctive style, use of Luxurious Fabrics and his Captivating journey where fashion meets exploration of movement, a true modern creator.

Why did you chose to participate in the Marbella Luxury Week-end 2017 ? 

Marbella is a very nice city with a unique feel, where summer is magnificent and lots of people come to enjoy a different life style where beauty, luxury and fun meet under the sun.

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You are one of the few selected designers to present their collections on the floating catwalk. How do you see this new experience for a fashion show ?

I was honoured to be the selected Haute-Couture International designer, and to have my Spring-Summer Collection in a summer city and on a floating catwalk, it is definitely a remarkable experience with beautiful encounters.

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What were the criteria you chose to select the pieces to be presented during MLW fashion show ?

Actually, 2017 SS collection matches MLW because it was inspired from the colours of Spring and Summer and it’s a combination between Luxury, Simplicity, love and fun just like Marbella.

How do you reflect your identity as a Lebanese designer through the pieces that you presented at Marbella Luxury weekend ?

My collections usually reflect my identity as a Lebanese Middle Easter designer who interacts with fashion trends Worldwide yet keeping my Lebanese touch that appeals to different cultures.

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Will we be seeing in your future collections designs inspired by Marbella or more generally by Spain ?

Definitely, Spain and especially Marbella are such inspiring places they provide many creative ideas, designs and opportunities.

Do you see in the event an opportunity to collaborate with other designers or brands ?

With no doubt.

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Meeting the Famous Artist & Composer Michel Fadel

Is this your first time at the Marbella Luxury week-end ? And what was your main motivation to participate in this event?

I have been before to Marbella in 2015, but it was for a Charity event organized by Gloocall, were I performed in a special appearance with the renowned Bond Quartet (Bond Girls), at that time my trip was very short and didn’t had the chance to enjoy Marbella’s sun. This time, I was invited as a guest by the Organizers of the Marbella Luxury Week-end to attend.
It is a very rich weekend, with a lot of diverse events, activities and nice things to see,
and being there as a guest, along with all the VIP attendees and guests, was really interesting, meeting new people, enjoying the Sun of Marbella, and especially the delicious Spanish cuisine.

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What are your preferred activities at the Marbella Luxury week-end? how are you planning to make the most out of this event ?

All the activities were on a international level, and well organized,
I had a special preference for the children’s fashion shows, as when they were on the Catwalk, with their pure and innocent enthusiasm they reminded me of my 2 lovely young daughters Maria and Michelle.

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The Artist & Composer Michel Fadel during his Recital at the Marbella Luxury Weekend Party – Puerto Banus  Photo Kamsyn

Will you be working on a musical collaboration with international talents during or following the week-end ?

Not during this version of MLW, as for this year my presence was just as a guest artist, and we didn’t plan a concert as event, but as the Organizers were excited to prepare something for next year, we are planning (for 2018 version of MLW) a concert with my musicians and an international collaboration with a Spanish artist and maybe other artists from Europe, still building the concept for it.

How would you introduce Lebanon or more generally the Middle East to all the people that will be attending the Marbella Luxury Weekend ?

Introducing Lebanon through music, is I guess one of the best ways to portray a country and region of rich diversity, as Music is an international language and a sign of civilization.

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