The retail market in the Middle East has seen a growth rate like no other and now plays a key part in not only attracting visitors and investors to the region but also in supporting economic growth. While the retail market in the Middle East is still in its emerging/growth stages retail investors, whether international or domestic, are particularly drawn to the region. This is due to a proven stability within the market, which is rare in emerging markets, heightened opportunities for retailers to expand and a lack of competition against local established brands which together creates a very desirable market.
Not only are retailers recognising that their presence in this market is vital but also that Middle Eastern consumers themselves are particularly valuable to their global operations. We are now seeing brands, luxury in particular, adapting their offering in order to attract consumers in the region. For example global player D&G recently introduced abayas into their collection and luxury retailer Jimmy Choo has just launched an exclusive Middle East collection, strategies we are seeing to better target this valuable market. Luxury retail is an area in particular that provides extensive opportunities to international investors as the region is home to many wealthy consumers and has in turn dedicated it’s time to designing retail offerings that perfectly cater to this demographic.
The Middle Eastern markets are actively striving to create new opportunities for retailers and new experiences for consumers in order to fuel an already burgeoning growth rate.
Dubai is now perceived as a global shopping destination with a second place ranking for international brand presence and its sights set on becoming the number one shopping destination in the world. With a growing economy and population, booming tourism, rising salaries together with a wealth of ultra-rich consumers, there is no doubt that the market is every retail investors dream. In a recent report Dubai was named the top city for consumer confidence, which has evidently been reflected in its influx of new retail projects, with an expected 361,127 square meters of mall space under way. In Dubai’s bid to become the number one shopping destination it is now designing retail spaces to encompass a ‘real city’ experience in order to compete with cultural fashion hubs such as London and Paris. With Dubai being the chosen city to house Expo 2020, the demand for retail offerings will dramatically increase and in turn spark the need for even more new projects that will exhibit Dubai as the world’s ultimate retail hub.