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The UAE retail sector is expected to grow more than 33 per cent by next year, according to a September report by consulting firm Ventures Middle East, which was released in conjunction with The Big 5 building and construction exhibition.
That growth is attracting investment in other countries in the GCC, according to the report.
Dubai is the region’s leading retail destination, with the second-largest number of global brands after London, according to the report. Dubai Mall and Dubai Shopping Festival alone attract close to 35 million visitors per year.
New developments that are sure to attract more visitors include Dubai’s recently announced Mall of the World. George Kostas, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim — Properties, says the UAE has earned a reputation as successful global and luxury retail brands destination since it attracts wealthy visitors from around the world.
“We expect an even greater investment in the re- tail and tourism sector in the lead-up to Expo 2020,” said Kostas, whose company will expand and refurbish Mall of the Emirates (including two new hotels), build a new shopping mall in the International Media Production Zone and a new luxury hotel at City Centre Deira.”
“A rise in consumer purchasing power and a growing young and brand savvy population have made Dubai one of the world’s most attractive hubs for retailers. To meet these future demands, Majid Al Futtaim has committed to more than Dh3 billion of new investment across our Dubai portfolio,” he adds.
Leading shopping projects across the region include the Vendome Mall at Lusail in Qatar, which is under construction at an estimated value of $1.37 billion, Al Diriyah Festival City in Saudi Arabia, which has a value of $1.6 billion, and Muscat Festival City Mall in Oman. “Leading retailers from around the world are all clamouring to enter a GCC market, which has huge potential, and that’s only good news for developers in the region,” said Andy White, Group Event Director of The Big 5. The expo will run from November 17 – 20 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
At the micro-level, see the status of the UAE's capital: Brightly shines Abu Dhabi's retail sector
Source: Property Weekly