The GCC is a dynamic environment for retail, with the UAE ranking among the top three countries globally in terms of brand presence. Leveraging a brand in this competitive landscape is a challenge for principals, franchisees, developers and operators. It requires careful analysis of all aspects to successfully negotiate and sustain a business in this kind of an environment, building on the positives and overcoming the negatives – from products to business processes, from partners to human resources.
For retailers like us, the chance to operate in this region opens up a world of possibilities and opportunities. Despite the adverse weather conditions, the advantages are many – dynamic economies, high income per capita, political support from regional governments and the quality of human resources – educated, informed and highly knowledgeable. These have influenced the evolution of retail in climate-controlled environments that wed shopping with food, leisure and entertainment, attracting high inflows of tourists from all corners of the globe.
Fahad Al-Othaim is president of the Saudi Arabia-based Al-Othaim Group. A young and dynamic businessman, he manages the group’s diverse, world-class shopping malls and leisure portfolio that includes several upcoming leisure projects in Saudi Arabia, other GCC countries and Egypt. His strength lies in listening to his business partners and team members to improvise strategies and synergise business interests.