Dubai second only to London as shopping destination
GCC cities Dubai and Doha ranked among the top ten markets that attracted the highest number of new retailers in 2015.
While 39 new brands opened their outlets in Dubai in the past year, Doha saw 29 names making their foray into the retail landscape of the city, according to a survey by leading real estate consultancy CBRE.
All Saints and Old Navy were among the new retailers that entered Dubai over the past year.
Hong Kong came first on the rankings, as it pulled in 73 entrants, followed by Singapore, which welcomed 63 new retailers to the city.
Dubai also retained its position as the second most important international shopping destination globally for the fifth consecutive year, placing close behind London in the 2016 edition of the How Global is the Business of Retail? survey, with 57 per cent of international retailers present in the city. This figure was an increase from the 55.3 per cent recorded in the previous year’s report.
In the global rankings of most-penetrated markets, the UAE ranked third after the UK and China.
The UAE was the most favoured destination for brands from Europe and Asia and the second-best choice for the American retailers after the UK.
Europe & US brands
On the other hand, the majority of the brands in Dubai originate from Europe (62.6 per cent) and the US (60.6 per cent), with a lesser number from Asia and the Middle East. This, according to CBRE, could be due to the “economic situation” in the home markets.
“Dubai’s global connectivity and stature as a hub for trade between the East and West has clearly given an impetus in the retail sector. Over the past decade, the Emirate has established itself as a globally recognised retail tourism destination, attracting millions of visitors from across the globe each year,” says Nick Maclean, managing director of CBRE Middle East.
“The emirate has become synonymous with retailing and is home to many of the world’s prestigious and coveted brands. Dubai has cemented its position as the location of choice for international brands looking to enter the region and widen their footprint to rollout their brands and concept stores,” adds Maclean.
Abu Dhabi embraces luxury
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi featured high on the list of European and Asian retailers, with 40.6 per cent and 11.8 per cent of retailers in the market in 2015 respectively.
“Abu Dhabi is growing its footprint with key international retailers. We see more luxurious schemes coming into the capital, making Abu Dhabi more complimentary to the Dubai market. As consumer spending continues to grow, driven by population growth and increased tourism arrivals, Abu Dhabi showcases a promising leisure offering,” says Maclean.
HE Hamad Buamim, president and CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, says that Dubai offers advanced infrastructure for retail businesses and is a gateway to the wider GCC and MENA regions, through which brands can easily enter.
“Retail constitutes nearly a third of Dubai’s GDP and we expect the industry to continue showing strong growth in the coming years,” he states.