Mall space expansion spurs Mid-east retail

Analysts say the Middle East markets are currently the safest bet for retailers, with regional economies showing resilience and surging ahead to offer a highly positive retail climate for both local and foreign players. The region’s retail industry is forecast to grow at a CAGR of about 10% through 2011-2014 to reach over $1,000 billion by 2014, with a large chunk of the retail growth expected to come from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

So the mood among Middle East retailers – especially regional franchisees who dominate the market – has been overwhelmingly positive, with most reporting increased sales turnover last year, even though countries such as Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, which were riding the retail wave earlier, have been experiencing a slowdown in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Nevertheless consumersentiment remains bullish, helped along by rising tourist numbers across the region, with the UAE leading the way.

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