Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Fashion has signed franchise deals with several US retailers, including Hollister, to open stores in the region.
MAF Fashion, the retail arm of MAF Ventures, will open Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch in the UAE before expanding its outlets across the GCC. Halston Heritage will make its regional debut in Kuwait in the second quarter of this year.
The firm will open its first Hollister store in Dubai in 2013 and is currently in talks to bring the Abercrombie & Fitch brand to the region with the goal of opening its first outlet in 2014.
“Simultaneously we are working to conclude a joint venture for Abercrombie & Fitch with a goal to realise the first store in 2014, which again will launch in Dubai,” said Asil Attar, CEO of MAF Fashion.
Dubai is enjoying a retail and tourism boom with passenger traffic passing through its airport rising 13.2 percent to 57.6m passengers last year, overtaking Hong Kong International Airport to become the third busiest airport in the world.
The retail market has been boosted by shoppers from Russia, China and the Gulf. Emaar, owner of the world’s biggest shopping mall, said the number of visitors to Dubai Mall in 2012 increased by almost half a million people to 5.2m while the number of brands sold in its stores increased 25 percent.
Retail accounts for around 30 percent of GDP in the emirate, according to Standard Chartered estimates. Dubai is home to about 40 shopping malls.
Sales at MAF Fashion are expected to increase this year amid a rise in the number of tourists in Dubai, said Attar.