Growing cities experience constant evolution in the demographics of their different sectors and localities. So as retailers we need to keep our ear to the ground to sense shifting patterns in our consumer base and respond to changing consumer needs,” observes Dimitri Vazelakis, executive managing director – shopping malls for Majid Al Futtaim Properties (MAFP).
He sees the market evolving constantly in tandem with the UAE’s strong economic growth, especially in the emirates of Dubai and Sharjah. “Things will only speed up further now that Dubai is to host Expo 2020. Trade will spurt as the number of residents and tourists increase, offering massive opportunities for all of us to capitalise on. The retail space in the country is registering strong growth. But with soaring rents and an upswing in prices in Dubai, more and more people are moving to Sharjah and the Northern Emirates. Yes, Sharjah will be a direct beneficiary of the Expo effect in Dubai,” Vazelakis points out.
“We study every market before we foray into it to tailor our offerings to suit the needs of the local community as well as tourists. But the process does not end there. We look at the changing demographics in every area we operate in and shift our focus to cater to changing community needs,” he adds.