By Andy Sambidge
Dubai Shopping Malls Group chairman wants to build on emirate's world-class image.
The new chairman of Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG) has pledged to build on the emirate's image as a world class shopping destination amid the global credit crunch.
Majid Saif al-Ghurair, whose group owns the Burjuman Shopping Mall, said: "The retail sector is a major driving force behind the distinguished trade position that Dubai now holds.
"Since its establishment in 1998, the DSMG has been keen to combine all its efforts and initiatives to enhancing the competitive edge of the emirate not only on a regional level but globally as well."
The 37-member DSMG was established in 1998 to support the Dubai Summer Surprises in its inaugural edition.
Since then, it has been working to co-ordinate marketing initiatives and provide better quality services to visiting shoppers in all the emirate's malls.
Ghurair said that the challenge in 2009 was to maintain the momentum in Dubai following previous "quantum leaps" in the retail market.
He said: "Over the past years, Dubai has made quantum leaps in the retail trade by setting up world-class shopping malls featuring international brands. This has transformed Dubai into a sought-after global shopping destination, where shopping is truly a unique experience.
"The coming period entails maximised efforts to maintain the gains attained in the past and secure further momentum for the retail trade sector."
Last month, Simon Thomson, a UK-based retail consultant who has worked with some of the region’s biggest malls, told Arabian Business tourists and middle income earners will be spending less in Dubai’s malls in 2009.
“Much of the mall retailing, especially in Dubai, has been predicated on tourism and not only that, but on swelling numbers year on year. International tourism is likely to be one of the casualties of disposable income as job security becomes less certain," he said.
"The collapse of the UK pound against the dollar and euro will also reduce the number of tourists from the UK."
Try lowering the prices to get the customers back. It's becoming a well known fact that shopping in Dubai is hardly a bargain nowadays. It's mainly due to the retail outlet owners charging the retailers too much rent. Even Dubai Duty Free is not a bargain any more. I bought a pair of Raybans on my way to Spain a few months ago, only to find the same glasses for a cheaper price in Spain.
RENTS are the major part of the percentage of indirect TAXES paid by the ratailer. To bring the retail industry back to live & do better for the industry & country there should be controlled rent rates. The prices are being paid by customers.
High rents in Dubai's many malls are a mayor problem for the moment and must be attended to immediately by the landlords to secure the retail business in Dubai for coming years ahead. The retailers are charged too much in rent by the landlords, "greediness" in the market has taken over! Shops in Dubai make little or no profit, money is brought in from overseas investments, business overdrafts, loans and savings to keep the businesses going! Right now ,- it is only the landlords who make a profit. Something must be done now or I believe the retailers will have to close one by one! And where will that lead us!