Dubai in world’s 'hottest' retail markets

Dubai has retained its position as the second most important international retail destination globally, with London continuing to hold the top position, reveals CBRE’s 2013 edition of How Global is the Business of Retail?

The top two cities are significantly ahead of Paris, Moscow and New York, which comprise the top five.

But Dubai, isn’t just an important retail destination, it has been ranked among the world’s top five “hot markets” in 2012, with the global property consultancy stating that the emirate remains the highest ranked target market for new retailers.

The report said 25 new retailers entered the Dubai market last year, including American retailer Franklin & Marshall, Italian polo heritage brand Galvanni and Cheesecake Factory.

“Dubai’s success in retaining its position as the second most important city for ‘cross border’ retailers is reflective of its leading status as a regional hub for individual and family tourism. The doubling of its visitor numbers to 10 million per annum in 2012 and its commitment to double these numbers again by 2020, makes the emirate highly attractive for existing and new retailers,” said Nicholas Maclean, Managing Director of CBRE Middle East.

Hong Kong took the pole position, attracting a total of 51 new retailers last year.

CBRE’s annual survey, now in its sixth year, maps the global footprint of 320 of the world’s top retailers across more than 200 cities, tracking cross-border retailer movements.

Since last one year, Dubai has seen announcements of a number of retail developments with the multi-billion-dollar Mohammad Bin Rashid City being home to largest shopping mall in the world. Nakheel, a government company, has already started work on Nakheel Mall and doubling the size of Dragon Mart, while Emaar Properties is working on expanding Dubai Mall, which is currently among the largest malls in the world.

Jones Lang LaSalle, a global property consultancy, said with the total retail space in Dubai stood at 2.8 million sqm at the end of Q1, 2013, with Abu Dhabi lagging behind with 1.78 million sqm.

However, CBRE said Abu Dhabi has more than 0.8 million square metres of new retail space under development, placing the UAE capital amongst the leading cities globally for shopping centre development.

“Over the next four years around 0.8 million square metres of new mall space across nine schemes will be delivered to the market, helping to establish Abu Dhabi as a new destination for retail in the Middle East,” Mat Green, Head of Research UAE, CBRE Middle East, had said.

Across the world, an unprecedented 32 million sqm of shopping centre space is currently under construction, representing a 15 per cent increase year-on-year (28m sq m in 2012).

Shopping centre development activity is heavily concentrated in emerging markets, with China home to more than half of all the space under construction (16.8 million sqm). Seven of the 10 most active development markets globally are in China. Other markets experiencing substantial expansion include Istanbul, Moscow, St Petersburg, New Delhi, Kiev, Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur.

With the Middle East being the fastest growing location for American retail and food and beverage brands, the report said Dubai was almost invariably to be the entry point for retailers into the region due to its infrastructure and particularly, aviation, investment over many years.

Mature markets dominated retailers’ expansion plans with five emerging markets making it to the top 20. Kiev was in second place with 39 new entrants, Sao Paulo (25), Iași (19), Muscat (17) and Ho Chi Minh City (15) also important targets, the report revealed. 

Europe was the most targeted region at country level, attracting 49 per cent of new entries followed by Asia (24 per cent) and Middle East and North Africa (11 per cent). Latin America, North America and the Pacific region attracted 9 per cent, 7 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively, CBRE said.


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