Travellers from the Middle East are often mesmerised by the high streets of Paris, Germany, London, New York, Hong Kong and Mumbai, searching the streets of Berlin for those small, family-run cafés or for designer brands adorning the Champs-Élysées. They yearn for similar retail experiences closer home.
If only they looked closer at their heritage of traditional bazaars and souks that are culturally akin to high streets. In days gone by, these were the nerve centre of retailing in the Middle East. The vestiges remain. Dubai still has its Deira Souk and Meena Bazaar, next door is the Sharjah Souk and further afield we have the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, Khan el-Khalili in Cairo and Downtown Beirut in Lebanon.
Shoppers in the region still find outdoor markets fascinating in a scenario dominated by plush, multi-focal malls. Maybe it’s the super-saturation of climate-controlled, glitzy malls that is now drawing them in growing numbers back to the open environment of the streets, especially during the cooler months of the year.
It’s got the makings of a new retail trend of pop-up markets, which are mushrooming across the UAE. The likes of ARTE (Artisans of the Emirates) and Ripe Markets popularised the format, with others following closely in their footsteps, including Market Outside the Box (MOTB), Street Nights, Urban Market, Marina Souq and Le Méridien Village Craft & Farmers Market, which run every weekend – and even on week days – during the winter season in the UAE.
Even the super-regional biggies are getting into the act, with malls now offering an ‘outdoors-in’ ambience. There’s the Virgin Megastore outlet at Yas Mall, the flurry of restaurants and cafés overlooking the Dubai Fountain at The Dubai Mall and The Beach stretching along the coastline of the Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), to quote a few examples. They merge the rustic souk with the sophisticated high street in a heady mix that revives old world charm with a touch of the west.
To read the full report, grab RetailME’s February edition or subscribe online
A report from Bain & Company has revealed that the emergence of some positive shopping trendsMay 9, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau
UAE-based RAW recently announced that it would be extending its GCC operations,May 4, 2021 | By Bilal Syed
UAE-based Carrefour announced its theme and plans for Ramadan 2021. The brand
Locally owned supermarket Spinneys celebrates 60 years of doing business in the
UAE-based Carrefour will become the first retailer in the region to offer new levels
The Organic Farmers’ Market is back in Bay Avenue for its 12th
UAE-based Lulu Group recently inaugurated its first-ever all-female staff store in Jeddah,
Jones the Grocer, the gourmet grocer and cheese retailer launches the Jones
UAE-based Al Maya Supermarkets is hosting a two-week food festival at select
Locally-owned supermarket Spinneys has launched its ‘Power of Plants’ initiative in the
Carrefour UAE has launched “Cookit Yourself” — a curated recipe box created
UAE-based Al Islami Foods, one of the largest frozen food companies in
Marks & Spencer’s plant-based range now offers over 25 vegan products including meat-free
World’s largest fully integrated online brand in fresh fish and meat e-commerce
The UAE is known to be a global hub for a range
Legal and social barriers that exist for women’s access to jobs is
UAE-based Emaar Malls have announced the resignation of its CEO, Rajiv Suri
Every human being on this planet is a customer. There isn’t a
The unprecedented challenges of 2020 made way for the untapped opportunities that
The UAE cabinet announced this week that the 100% foreign ownership law,
The non-oil trade between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain increased 43% to $688.4
MRF 2020 which will take place at the Conrad Dubai Hotel on November 25, 2020, will
Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) returns for its 26th edition from December 17
The Sultanate of Oman is planning to introduce a 5% value-added tax (VAT)
The UK Government will pay two thirds of the wages of staff
UAE-based supermarket chain Spinneys sees “dramatic changes” in shopping patterns since the