By Andy Sambidge
Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment chief says scores of retailers will look to expand into emirate
Dubai's successful 2020 Expo bid could catapult the emirate to the world's number one city for international retailers, the head of the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) has said.
Laila Mohammed Suhail, CEO of DFRE, the company tasked with organising city-wide shopping festivals such as the Dubai Shopping Festival, said that winning the 2020 bid will "no doubt help attract scores of new retailers".
"There is enormous anticipation for the Dubai Expo 2020, and we are delighted that the Emirate will be hosting the event," said Suhail.
"DFRE will now be working closely with its partners from the private sector and other Government bodies to develop more retail festival concepts that will add to the experience of the millions of visitors attending the Expo.
"However being the number one international retail hub in the world remains our target regardless of the Expo; we are determined to reach that spot and maintain it for years to come."
According to the 2013 How Global is the Business of Retail Report by market research specialists CBRE, Dubai currently ranks second to London as the city with the highest percentage of international retailers.
The ranking is based on a survey of 323 major international fashion retailers, of which 53.8 percent (174 retailers) said that they currently have outlets in Dubai.
Mat Green, head of Research & Consultancy UAE, CBRE Middle East, said: "Given the growing number of international brands entering the market, Dubai could soon be in a position to challenge the English capital as the most important international retail destination.
"The influx of new brands over the past five years has seen Dubai vying with London for top spot, and now with the recent Expo 2020 award the emirate is primed to mount a sustained challenge to London's recent dominancy.
"After a relatively quiet period in Dubai's retail development pipeline, the next three years will see significant expansion of the emirate's major malls, with Mall of Emirates, Dubai Mall and Ibn Battuta each looking to add additional space to their existing offering.
"We will also see a number of entirely new malls complete by the end of 2017 that will attract a host of new names into the market."
Suhail added: "The retail sector in the MENA region is still emerging but is poised to take off if it is planned right. The Dubai model of explaining the essence of retail culture - both to retailers and consumers - would bring great benefits to emerging markets across the region."
Last year, Dubai was the fourth most attractive market internationally for new entrant retailers, attracting 25 newcomers for 2012, behind Hong Kong, Kiev, and Berlin.
Meanwhile the MENA region was a key market for US retailers, attracting 18 percent of total US export brands for the year.
Suhail will be a headline speaker at the Future Retail Conference, taking place from December 8-9 at the JW Marriot Marquis Hotel Dubai.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.
Already Dubai is famous world wide for its shopping festival and millions of shopaholics reach Dubai during the Shopping Festival season. So Dubai is the number one city for the tourists...
Thanks for the share...
Dubai may end up with more malls & retail stores. However how profitable shall they remain? Go to any Dubai shopping mall on any busy weekend & look at how many people are actually carrying shopping bags with items they have purchased. The majority of people go to malls to eat, catch a movie or to wander. In the 12 years I have been here I have bought hardly any clothes here & most of our electronic purchases are made abroad also.