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,