UAE luxury retail sector 'still attractive' despite slowdown

Deloitte says wider Middle East market continues to represent 'big opportunity' for luxury brands
By Staff writer
Fri 16 Jun 2017 10:11 AM

Consumers in the UAE say they have increased their spending on luxury products by 70 percent over the past five year, much higher than in more mature markets such as Europe and the United States.

A new report from Deloitte said emerging consumer markets, such as the UAE, China and Russia, continue to drive luxury market growth globally.

According to the fourth annual Global Powers of Luxury Goods report, luxury retail spending rose by 53 percent since 2012 in the more mature markets.

James Babb, clients and industries leader, Deloitte, Middle East, said the market in the Middle East continues to represent a big opportunity for luxury brands.

“Luxury markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have helped to promote these cities as desirable shopping destinations. Well established big-name brands have performed well in the region, and tourism is a major driver of sales in Dubai."

However, he added that the market saw a significant slowdown in 2016, caused by the low oil prices, higher gold prices and an increase in the cost of living.

“The region is likely to feel the impact of political unrest as well as global economic uncertainty, but further growth is nevertheless expected as Dubai and Abu Dhabi continue to be attractive shopping destinations," he noted. 

The report said that the world’s 100 largest luxury goods companies generated sales of $212 billion in 2015. The average luxury goods annual sales for a Top 100 company is now $2.1 billion.

Italy was ranked the leading luxury goods country in terms of number of companies, while France has the highest share of sales – with 26 companies in the Top 100.

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