Emirate in world's Top 5 cities for shopping

Dubai Mall and the Dubai Shopping Festival alone attract 35 million visitors per year to the country. (File)

Dubai is one of the world’s leading shopping destinations, and this has once again been reinforced by a new ranking of the ‘World’s 6 Best Shopping Centres’ by Black Enterprise, which ranks Dubai among the Top 5 global destinations for shopping.

“Shopping and luxury are the norm in Dubai. With an endless array of swanky shops, the city is a shopping paradise for fashionistas. Shopping malls such as the Mall of the Emirates are extravagant, offering everything from theatres, art galleries, childcare centres to and indoor ski slope, luxury restaurants and even mosques,” the report states .

It isn’t the first report to rank Dubai among the hottest shopping destinations, with numerous other global reports ranking the emirate even higher up ion the shopping sweepstakes.

Last year, Dubai retained its position as the second most important international retail destination globally, according to global real estate consultancy firm CBRE’s 2014 edition of its report ‘How Global is the Business of Retail?’

“Dubai retained its position as the second most important international retail destination globally for the third consecutive year, closely behind London, which also retained its number one position,” the report stated.  according to the 2014 edition of How Global is the Business of Retail?

CBRE’s annual survey – in its seventh year in 2014 – analysed the operational networks of 334 leading international retailers across 189 cities and 61 countries covering the vast majority of the world’s economy.

“2014 was a very good year for Dubai Duty Free with our sales reaching a record $1.917 billion which represents a 7.36 per cent increase over the previous year,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman, Dubai Duty Free.

McLoughlin made the comments in investment bank Alpen Capital’s ‘GCC Retail Industry’ report published earlier in 2015.

“In 2015, our sales will be in excess of $2 billion, and by 2018, we expect our sales to reach $3 billion,” he added.

“The GCC retail sector is amongst the most promising and attractive sectors in the world. Large international retailers are expanding and increasing their presence in the region to compensate for the slow (and sometimes negative) growth in major retail markets in the US and Europe,” Yousef Al-Gafari, CEO, Al Othaim Markets Co., said in the same report.

“Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the major retailing hubs of the UAE. Dubai is the second most popular retail destination globally, after London,” the report maintains.

“The retail space per 1,000 people in Dubai is 1,380 sq m, which is the highest in the world,” it states. Dubai accounted for about 55-65 per cent of the country’s retail sales in 2013, it noted, quoting an Emirates NBD report.

The Dubai Mall and the Dubai Shopping Festival alone attract 35 million visitors per year to the country, and Dubai’s geostrategic location, along with its advanced infrastructure and logistics facilities, make it an ideal location for companies to base their wholesale and retail trade operations for serving the regional markets.

Dubai’s rapid transformation into a smart city further bodes well for its retail industry. The emirate is particularly a hub for luxury foods for the well-heeled regional and global customers.

“Dubai is the most popular shopping destination for high net-worth individuals, largely from China, Russia and other Asian and Arab countries. Dubai alone represents 30 per cent of the total Middle East luxury sales and 60 per cent of the UAE’s luxury sales,” the Alpen Capital report said.

During the launch of the CBRE report in Dubai last year, Nick Maclean, Managing Director, CBRE Middle East, then said: “Dubai’s success in retaining its position as the second most important city in terms of international retailer presence
underpins its status as a regional hub for business and tourism.

The retail sector remains one of the most vital streams for economic activity in the Emirate and the industry is likely to witness significant growth in the lead up to Expo 2020 in six years’ time.”

“Dubai saw 19 new retail entrants during 2013, and with a number of major malls under development and some of the existing ones undergoing a face lift, the Emirate is anticipated to garner further interest from international retailers looking to enter the region.”

Hamad Buamim, President & CEO, Dubai Chamber, said: “The UAE economy has been witnessing steady growth over the last few years. Dubai has clearly benefitted from the economic competitiveness and the emirate’s retail sector continues to be driven on the back of strong growth exhibited by tourism, aviation and capital inflow.”


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