Dubai retained its position as the second most important international shopping destination globally for the fifth consecutive year, closely behind London, according to real estate advisor CBRE.
Its 2016 edition of the How Global is the Business of Retail? report showed that Dubai has a presence of 57 percent of international retailers, second to London at 57.9 percent and followed by Shanghai at 54.4 percent.
During the course of 2015, Dubai attracted 38 new international brands, with high profile retailers including All Saints and Old Navy.
The majority of the brands in Dubai originate from Europe (62.6 percent) and the US (60.6 percent), with a lesser number from Asia and the Middle East, potentially attributed to the economic situation in the home markets, the report said.
How Global is the Business of Retail? analysed the operational networks of 334 leading international retailers across 61 countries and covered the vast majority of the world's economy.
Abu Dhabi also featured high on the list of European and Asia-Pacific (APAC) retailers, with 40.6 percent and 11.8 percent of retailers in the market in 2015 respectively.
Compared to European and American retailers, APAC retailers continue to be less focused on expansion outside their own region but Dubai was once again the most infiltrated city by a large and growing margin, with 23.5 percent of all APAC brands present in the city.
Other Middle Eastern cities are also popular destinations for APAC retailers with Abu Dhabi, Kuwait City and Doha all in the top five.
Nick Maclean, managing director, CBRE Middle East, said: "Dubai's global connectivity and stature as hub for trade between the East and West has clearly given an impetus in the retail sector.
"Over the last decade the emirate has established itself as a globally recognised retail tourism destination, attracting millions of visitors from across the globe each year. The Emirate has become synonymous with retailing and home to many of the world's prestigious and coveted brands. Dubai has cemented its position as the location of choice for international brands looking to enter the region and widen their footprint to rollout their brands and concept stores."
He added: "Abu Dhabi is growing its footprint with key international retailers. We see more luxurious schemes coming into the capital making Abu Dhabi more complimentary to the Dubai market. As consumer spending continues to grow, driven by population growth and increased tourism arrivals, Abu Dhabi showcases a promising leisure offering."
The report said Dubai's F&B market has been a key focus in recent years, and continues to attract significant interest from both international and home grown restaurant brands, with Din Tai Fung and Five Guys recently opening their doors to the public.
According to CBRE's F&B report released last month, UAE residents ranked as third biggest F&B spenders, positioning the outlook for the F&B sector as positive as it continues to see significant spending on socalising and eating out, generated by UAE nationals and expatriates alike.
CBRE said mid-range fashion retailers remained the most active sector globally. Retailers from the Americas have been the most expansive in the recent years and this trend continued in 2015, with brands from this region targeting major markets such as Dubai, Zurich and New Delhi.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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