Despite rising rents the UAE remains a competitive option for international retailers, according to the latest research by CBRE, the global real estate consulting firm.
Average retail rental rates for Dubai stood at $114 per sq ft per annum and in Abu Dhabi at $71 per sq ft per annum, CBRE said in a report.
The study said international retailers were continuing to flood into the region with Dubai being used as a launch pad.
According to CBRE research, 25 new retailers opened stores in Dubai last year.
Mat Green, head of Research and Consultancy UAE, CBRE Middle East, said: "The UAE remains an attractive destination for international retailers; with an array of brands already present and its relative affordability compared to other global retail markets.
"The emirates in many ways holds an edge over other established cities as it offers access to significant consumer numbers, high quality mall facilities, and cost sensitive rents even within prime centres."
He added: "Retailers continue to expand into this region, often using Dubai as their 'launch' platform into other markets such as Doha, Riyadh and Jeddah."
Green said: "Abu Dhabi in particular is seeing significant new retail space under development, as it looks to establish itself as a major destination for leisure and shopping.
"New retail destinations such as the recently opened The Galleria, and the soon to be opened Yas Mall are helping to increase the emirates exposure, bringing with new brands and concepts for the region."
CBRE's quarterly ranking for Q2 of the top 10 prime global retail markets was topped by Hong Kong ($4,328 per sq ft per annum). In second position posting prime rents $1,200 per sq ft below Hong Kong, was New York ($3,050 per sq ft per annum), ahead of third-ranked Paris.