French public investment company BPI France, in partnership with luxury retailer Chalhoub Group recently brought 22 French companies from the fashion, cosmetics, design, culture, and creativity sectors to Dubai in order to prospect the UAE market. For four days, the chosen companies were given a unique opportunity to test the Emirati market and confirm their strategy to settle in the Middle East.
“Retail is a very important sector and we would like for them to explore the opportunities they have in this region. Some of the brands have a huge influence in Europe but they have to understand all the opportunities they have here. In Dubai, they will be able to find all the transitions in which retail sector is accelerating today with regards to climate change, decarbonisation, digital transformations etc.” said Pedro Novo the Executive Director in charge of the Export at Bpifrance.
“This is the right place to be. If you want to be successful in the world, you have to be successful in Dubai, when you are in the retail industry,” he added.
The UAE ranks 11th globally in the World Bank’s annual ease of doing business ranking. It has introduced a number of reforms and legislations in recent years order to improve its attractiveness as a business hub. Some of the measures it introduced include improving online registration, eliminating all costs for commercial and industrial connections of up to 150 kilo-Volt-Amperes (kVA), making registering property easier by increasing the transparency of the land administration system, and strengthening access to credit.
“In the UAE, all the government reforms introduced in the last two years helps improve its attractiveness for French companies and other foreign companies. It would also push these brands to function in a competitive market, considering the competition is tough here. Dubai is a place where you accelerate your model, and that’s why they are here now,” he said.
Echoing the sentiments, Geoffroy Bunetel, Chief of Staff to the President at Chalhoub Group and President of CCI France UAE said, “Dubai is the number one city globally when it comes to the number of brands present here. Niche brands that are unique and creative would be a great fit for a place that is overwhelmed by the big franchises. There is a strong appetite for newness, especially among the young crowd.”
Moreover, he believes that Dubai’s adaptation of technology and willingness to experiment and innovate makes it an even attractive hub for new businesses and startups to set up here.
“Technology will support new business models. Blockchain and circular economy in the luxury business has a very important stake. Circular economy, which instigates changes towards pre-loved, rental and other such business models can be supported by blockchain. So there is a strong link between technology and how we can grow new business models in retail,” he said.
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