Mena in for retail growth - Emirates24|7

Mena in for retail growth

With seven countries among the top 20 in the 2008 Global Retail Development Index, the Middle East North Africa region is the world's hottest for retail expansion, new research has shown.

The strong euro supporting investment in the region, consumer familiarity with modern retail concepts and petrodollar wealth are the primary factors making the region an attractive retail destination, according to business consultancy AT Kearney.

With more than $9 trillion (Dh33trn) flowing into the region by 2020, infrastructure investments will spur consumer and retail growth over the next decade, the firm said.

"The Middle East and its retail opportunity is more compelling than ever," said Robert Ziegler, Vice-President, AT Kearney Dubai. "These markets will provide the engines for growth and profits for global retailers as sales in their home countries turn sluggish."

Published since 2001, the index helps retailers prioritise their global development strategies by ranking the retail expansion attractiveness of emerging countries based on a set of 25 variables including economic and political risk, retail market attractiveness, retail saturation levels and the difference between GDP growth and retail growth.

Among the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia was the most attractive global retail destination.