Created in 1955 by Michel and Widad Chalhoub, the Chalhoub Group begins its activities with the opening of a Christofle boutique in Damascus, and the representation of three luxury brands, Christofle, Baccarat and Jean Patou in Syria.
Michel Chalhoub's first special order is to supply Syrian President M. Chucri Kouatly with Baccarat crystalware and Christofle silverware. A calling is found.
Influenced by his reading about the gulf countries and the importance of oil, Michel Chalhoub is convinced of the potential of this region.
He decides to travel first to Kuwait, then to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Muscat and Saudi Arabia in order to assess the opportunities of each market.
Christofle and other French names in the luxury industry entrust Michel Chalhoub with the representation of their products across the entire region; enticing birth of a new company dedicated to the representation of luxury brands in the Middle East.
Parallel to his other activities, Michel Chalhoub opens bookshops in Syria and Lebanon, and reintroduces the French language in Syria by publishing French school books.
The family moves its activities to Beirut in Lebanon due to the stringent laws on importation of goods to Syria.
Although the Gulf is still a virgin market, a determination to build a bridge between the East and West leads Michel and Widad to participate in the first and highly acclaimed French exhibition in Kuwait.
Opening of the first ST Dupont repair workshop for the region in Kuwait.
With the support of a local partner, Mr Ali Habchi, Michel Chalhoub forms a new company dedicated to local distribution and retail in Kuwait.
At the same time, Burinspro, a company dedicated to regional distribution of Beauty, Fashion and Gift brands in the Middle East, is established.
The Chalhoub Group continues to develop its activities in Kuwait and Lebanon by opening new book and gift stores. This period also marks the onset of the group’s advertising activities.
In 1975, the civil war in Lebanon compels the Chalhoub family to move all their activities to Kuwait. Anthony Chalhoub, their eldest son, decides to join the group.
Michel Chalhoub acquires the contract to supply the Kuwait Airways female crew with Jean Patou uniforms. This is the beginning of close relationships with the travel industry.
In 1978, an agreement is finalized with Christian Dior for the regional representation of fashion and accessories in the Middle East region until 1992.
In 1979, Patrick Chalhoub joins the group.
The opening of the first Tanagra concept store sends gasps of astonishment and delight in Kuwait. It is a place where people can indulge their desires for the very best of Art de Vivre brands such as Christofle, Daum, Baccarat, ST Dupont, as well as a premium selection of perfumes and accessories.
Tanagra attracts the elite of Kuwait and the Middle East, welcoming prominent guests such as His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, the Right Honorable Margaret Thatcher and Mrs Giscard d’Estaing - the wife of French President to name a few.
The Chalhoub Group becomes a major player in terms of local distribution in Kuwait. The same year, an agreement is signed with Chanel for their local distribution and the Chalhoub Group creates a new subsidiary, called 3D, for design, display and decoration.
The Chalhoub Group forms a joint venture with Louis Vuitton for local retail in Kuwait, and the first Louis Vuitton boutique opens its doors in Kuwait.
Opening of the first “Faces” beauty concept store of the group in Kuwait.
With the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Mr and Mrs Chalhoub, along with loyal colleagues are determined to stay in Kuwait to help others and protect the group's activities. Despite the difficulties, Anthony and Patrick continue the business operations from Paris and subsequently create a temporary office in Dubai, which is to soon become their strategic base.
The Chalhoub Group and L’Oréal form a joint venture “Parmobel” for regional distribution in the Middle East.
With local offices based in Saudi Arabia, the group becomes a consultant for local distribution of Chanel perfumes and cosmetics.
In 1993, Habchi and Chalhoub secures the contract for the management of Kuwait Duty Free for a period of 12 years.
The Chalhoub Group creates Sogedimo, a company offering commercial and logistical services for the regional distribution of Lancaster & Coty brands in the Middle East.
The beauty concept store “Faces” becomes regional with the opening of a flagship store in Bahrain.
The Chalhoub Group and Puig Group (Nina Ricci, Carolina Herrera, Paco Rabanne) form a joint venture for regional distribution of fragrances in the Middle East.
Louis Vuitton opens its doors in Saudi Arabia.
The Chalhoub Group’s own concept store for Beauty “Faces” enters the Saudi market and is soon to become a retail reference for fragrances and cosmetics.
The Chalhoub Group becomes a major stakeholder of Allied Enterprises, a local distribution and retail company in Dubai.
The Chalhoub Group's own concept store for gifts “Tanagra” gains regional momentum with the opening of its first flagship store in Dubai.
To provide a tailor made service, Traveller, a company dedicated to travel retail is created to serve as a catalyst between suppliers and the travel retail industry.
The same year, Promopub, the group's in house advertising and communications agency, forms a joint venture with HAVAS WORLDWIDE MIDDLE EAST in Dubai. 2001 also marks the start of retail activity in Egypt via a locally based company as well as the initiation of the beauty concept store “Faces” in the country, and the creation of REAL, a company for centralized logistics based in Dubai.
The Chalhoub Group forms a joint venture with Saks Fifth Avenue in Dubai.
Concurrently, through locally based offices in Saudi Arabia, the group offers consultancy services for the local distribution of Puig Group, L’Oreal selective and ST Dupont.
Formation of SAJ, a company for the local distribution of L’Oréal selective brands in the UAE. “Faces” opens in Qatar. Creation of a new concept store “The Visitor” for luxury gifts and convenience amenities situated in hotels, hospitals and airports.
Inauguration of the Chalhoub Group headquarters in Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai.
Development of a joint venture with Fendi for local retail. The same year, an alliance is formed with Coty Group for regional distribution. A locally based office in Egypt, MAC, secures the management contract for Cairo Duty Free. A new company, DACH, is created for the management of Chaumet boutiques and The Visitor stores in Dubai (UAE).
The Chalhoub Group celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Opening of the “Faces” flagship store in Dubai – the beauty concept has multiplied to a regional network of 60 shops.
The Chalhoub Group enters a joint venture with Parfums Christian Dior for regional distribution of Dior fragrances and cosmetics.
The same year, an alliance is formed with Christian Dior Couture and Sephora to develop their retail activity. Tanagra opens its doors in Jeddah and Riyadh, and is now a regional network of 15 boutiques.
The Chalhoub Group launches its Retail Academy, the first of its kind in the region, which aims to inspire “Excellence in Retail” by offering an international certification to its team of Retail Ambassadors.
Creation of local distribution companies in Qatar and Syria.
The Chalhoub Group enters a joint venture with Havas to expand its advertising and communication services across the region.
The Chalhoub Group launches its latest concept store for luxury footwear, called Scarpe, in Kuwait. A record of 90 new boutique openings across the Middle East takes place.
The Chalhoub Group opens its second Retail Academy in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The same year, a partnership is signed with the Italian fashion school Polimoda.
The Chalhoub Group agrees on a regional joint-venture with Christian Louboutin. Meanwhile, the group becomes the honorary member of the Italian luxury association Altagamma.
The Chalhoub Group opens its latest concept-store Katakeet in Abu Dhabi: a high end children's wear boutique.
The Chalhoub Group opens its second Katakeet boutique in Dubai. This year also marked the opening of level Shoe District, the world’s finest shoe metropolis in a 9000 sqm area