‘Qatar is a pearl, a jewel of the Middle East’
March 01 2020 10:24 PM
Shelley & Co showcased rare and colour diamonds at the recently-concluded DJWE 2020. (right) Shelley
Shelley & Co showcased rare and colour diamonds at the recently-concluded DJWE 2020. (right) Shelley

* Qataris love and appreciate the rarity, investment value, and the beauty of high-end jewellery, says Shelley Kabilu

Qatar continues to be a special and important market for high-end and fine jewellery brands, Shelley & Co founder, Shelley Kabilu, has said.
“The Qatar market is open and people are well-educated about the jewellery and high-end pieces, their taste is sophisticated, and up with the latest trends, passionate about luxury items and the story behind the inspiration about each piece,” she told Gulf Times.
“They are also happy to meet the designer of the brand,” Kabilu observed. Shelley & Co was among the hundreds of international brands which participated in the 17th edition of the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE), which concluded on Saturday at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.
DJWE, organised by the Qatar National Tourism Council, is a leading platform for lovers of luxury and jewellery, bringing together the latest trends and innovations in the industry, along with renowned international and Qatari brands, under one roof.
“Qataris love and appreciate the rarity, investment value, and the beauty of jewellery, which is why the Qatar market has welcomed and adore colour diamonds,” she said.
Kabilu noted that the taste of the people, both men and ladies, is refined and special with a European touch of the most modern, latest and limited edition pieces.
Impressed by Qatari women’s penchant for precious and luxury items, she said such kind of clientele remain to be among the leading trendsetters across the world.
“I enjoy working with Qataris and for them to actually choose and love something from my collection make it even more special,” Kabilu stressed.
Shelley & Co founder, a jewellery expert renowned for having a keen eye for detail and has strong connections globally, plans to start working on a collection for the Qatar market, inspired by the country’s rich history and heritage, once she returns to New York.
“I’d like to make a collection of daily wear for the younger generation who want something cool but not crazy, which will have natural colour diamonds. We have our very rare pieces that are one-of-kind and cannot be found anywhere else,” she said. “The history of Qatar is one with a rich heritage that goes a long way back with beautiful traditions.”
“I fell in love with the people, traditional clothing, and especially the jewellery, actually with everything. It is very unique to the rest of the Middle East, it’s just completely different. Qatar is a different world, it is very special it is basically a pearl, it is like a jewel of the Middle East, very unique and so the people in every way,” Kabilu stressed.
She also lauded the DJWE 2020 and its organisation, which brought a lot of excitement and interest in her collections, particularly on the fancy colour diamond rings that have gone viral after Qatari influencers visited her booth at the Al Majed pavilion.
The prestigious jewellery show in Doha, Kabilu stressed, brings together the world most important brands and the best collections of everything in jewellery whether high end, middle, or daily wear.
“I am looking forward to return with our new collections for the DJWE 2021,” she added.
The exhibition hosted 129 exhibitors from 14 countries, recording 68% growth from the previous edition, according to QNTC. It attracted more than 32,000 aficionados of luxurious ornaments and timepieces - a 34% increase in the number of visitors compared to the previous edition. The 18th edition of DJWE will take place from February 22 to 27, 2021.
Kabilu, who visited the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) yesterday, said that the most important pearls in history have been natural pearls that come from the Gulf and Qatar.
“The museum is impressive on many levels. I am so impressed by the history in seeing how it’s been so influential for the economy here and before the oil and gas,” she said.
“That is really fascinating to me especially being in the jewellery industry and seeing the beautiful collections that they have here of natural pearls and antique pieces that the museum has curated to the top level and a lot of these signed pieces.”
Kabilu noted that she has seen on auction or earlier, old historical pieces with natural pearls that have come from the Gulf signed by Cartier, by Napoleon, as well as various special pieces, at NMoQ.
“Just to be able to collect all of those pieces that they’ve put here in the museum, I am sure, has taken a long time and has been done so well and so special to show the rich heritage,” she said.
“It is so fine, it is so impeccable to showcase the history of the natural pearls here and how for centuries these pearls have been sold to Europe, to all the big important jewellery houses and then nowadays a lot of things are being purchased back to come to the region here, which is very special.”
During her stay in Doha, Kabilu said she enjoyed visiting different attractions in the country and had the chance to watch the event at Al Shaqab in Education City – “which was absolutely top level.”
“I was able to meet with the best teams, best jumpers and riders in the world, as well as leaders from Uzbekistan and India, and being able to see some of the horses/stables, has been very special,” she said. Qatar is a leader in everything that they do, they are so professional.”

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