Saleh Al Shawa representing Al Jaber Optical joined in as the prestigious jury member to nominate the top products for the Vision-X VP Awards 2015. VisionPlus in conversation with Saleh Al Shawa
VisionPlus (VP) : What are your expectations from Vision-X VP Awards this year?
Saleh Al Shawa (SS) : I saw more products and brands as compared to last year, when the first edition of Vision-X VP Awards debuted. This simply shows the growing radius of the Awards and the confidence boost that of brands get on this platform.
SS : Honestly, they were better and every category had a variety of entries this year. And the knowledge you get from reviewing the eyewear and products gives you a sense of ideas and trends that are shaping up in the market.
VP : Which is your favourite category?
SS : I really liked the luxury eyewear categories. The participations from reputed brands just adds more credentials to the Awards and it becomes a lot more interesting to see leading brands being compared under one roof.
VP : In your opinion, how does the industry benefit from the Vision-X VP Awards initiative?
SS : Initiatives like the Vision-X VP Awards give hope and exposure to new brands in particular. However, chances are that disappointment can also set in for some brands, but I hope this does not discourage them from applying again since it’s part of the process. After all, you lose today and win tomorrow! But I would say that the other brands have to come forward and participate to make the Awards stronger and evolve into a prominent benchmark.
VP : What is your opinion about the impact of online retailing on the optical trade community?
SS : According to me online retailing will not do big in the UAE because you have malls located within few minutes drive from home, your workplace or any other areas. Point here is, while you need to drive for two hours or more to reach a mall in other countries, here that is not the case so why would someone opt for online! Also, in categories like electronics, there’s no size issues, but obviously in eyewear, people need to try the items to see if they fit and suit their face type, etc. Thus it becomes better to pick what you like by walking into the nearest store rather than go online and book without any knowledge about the look and feel of the product.