Dubai retains second spot as a top international retail destination

May 19, 2015 | By RetailME Bureau

Dubai has retained its position as the second most important international shopping destination globally for the fourth consecutive year, closely behind London, which also retained its number one position, according to the 2015 edition of ‘How Global is the Business of Retail?’ by CBRE.

Dubai has a presence of 55.7% of international retailers followed by Shanghai with 53.4%, while New York and Singapore make up the rest of the top five international cities in terms of retail representation with 46.3% and 46.0%, respectively. During the course of 2014, Dubai attracted 45 new international brands, with high profile retailers including Hollister, Cavalli Caffe and McQ Alexander McQueen opening outlets in the emirate.

“Dubai’s global air connectivity and growing stature as a hub for trade between the East and West has clearly given an added impetus to the retail sector. The emirate continues to remain the clear destination of choice for the majority of brands looking to enter the region for the first time, frequently using Dubai as a stepping stone to wider regional expansion programmes,” says Nick Maclean, managing director, CBRE Middle East.

Retailer globalisation remained a key theme with half of the 164 cities surveyed attracting at least five new retailers. Markedly, Abu Dhabi featured prominently on the list of target cities with 55 new brands, ranking the emirate in third place for new retail entrants during 2014. Tokyo took the coveted top spot with 63 new retailers entering the market followed by Singapore.

“While Dubai has maintained its position for overall retail representation in 2014, the increased number of new retailer brands entering Abu Dhabi has been driven in part by a significant increase in supply in the capital amidst opening of a number of new malls, most notably Yas Mall that was inaugurated in November 2014,” adds Maclean.

“We at Dubai Chamber welcome the news that the city has retained its position as the second most important international shopping destination globally for the fourth consecutive year. Dubai’s retail sector is vibrant and continues to be driven by strong economic growth, increased consumer spending and tourist arrivals, which hit a record high of 13.2 million last year,” shares Hamad Buamim, president & CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

“Dubai provides a wide range of opportunities for foreign retailers and brands, whether individual stores or franchise options. The quality of available retail space is an added incentive for global retailers looking for expansion and key projects; for example Mall of the World promises a healthy future outlook. Dubai Chamber supports the retail sector through various initiatives and activities and as the voice of the business community we will continue to facilitate growth and developments in this important sector.”

Mid-range fashion retailers remained the most active sector globally and focused on targeting the European market. Whilst luxury and business fashion retailers continue to target the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions with 26% of expansion into the Americas and 24% in Asia, coming from this sector. Luxury retailers contributed more than one fifth of new retail entrants to Asia-Pacific last year,” Buamim elaborates.

“Dubai’s economic growth remains strong and it retains its position as a leading leisure and shopping destination in the world. The UAE retail sector will continue to see strong growth in 2015, driven by robust inbound tourist numbers and demand for new brands in the region, with almost all retailers using the UAE as a hub for their entry into the GCC.  In addition, the UAE’s free-market economy, which makes it easy to do business in the country, will be a key driver of this growth,” believes Ahmed Galal Ismail, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Ventures.

“At MAF, we have witnessed high growth last year, and with our regional expansion plans, we remain committed to growing this further. MAF offers an experience that goes well beyond shopping – our malls are lifestyle destinations with shopping, dining and leisure activities that truly deliver great moments for our guests every day of the week. We are passionate about innovation, and we want to constantly surprise and delight our visitors by adding new and exciting experiences, thereby contributing to the success of the regional retail sector.”






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