“The UAE has long been the vanguard of international retailers’ expansion strategies in the Middle East,” says Mat Green, head of research at CBRE Middle East in Dubai. The amount of retail space – one square metre for every one of its 2.3 million residents – is mind boggling. Now factor in the extreme weather conditions, especially during summer, rendering malls as the most visited places to not only shop but also socialise.
“For retailers operating within the UAE and seeking to reach out to a wide consumer base, Dubai is a promising market,” states Nicholas Maclean, managing director at CBRE Middle East. “Retailers, especially in the mid-market range, see a very aspirational component to the people living here. Additionally, the salaries here are very broad, so also the nationalities, making the demographics extraordinary.”
“With Dubai being ranked only second to London in terms of the number of international retail brands present here, retailers consider the emirate as a safe haven in an affluent, even though unstable, region with abundant modern, well-trafficked malls,” adds Maclean.