Chinese brands and shopping destinations hope to expand their presence in the UAE and elsewhere in the region to current underserved areas, according to John Fekete, regional director – head of consulting services at JLL.
In an interview with Arabian Business, Fekete said that he believes that Chinese brands are “very interested” in expanding, locally and throughout the wider region.
“They have the infrastructure and state support which helps them,” he said. “They’ve got almost turnkey support, [with] developers, investors and infrastructure experts ready to build them malls or outlets….and the market here is very receptive to that.”
From the perspective of land owners and developers, Fekete said, Chinese malls offer a niche market that can “get people and traffic into destinations.”
Such malls, and the Chinese brands they offer, are increasingly being perceived as high-quality but cost-effective alternatives to other retail establishments, he added.
“It’s less about the Dragon Mart type thing, and more of an outlet mall type environment,” he noted.
"You don’t have one in Abu Dhabi, or one in Al Ain. There are certainly areas that are underserved by this type of mall. We’re not just talking about Dragon Mart 4 in these under and non-served catchment areas.”
Dubai’s Dragon City is already home to Dragon Mart, the world’s largest Chinese retail and trading hub outside China and its sister mall, Dragon Mart 2, which opened in 2015.
Earlier this week, Emaar announced it will develop the Middle East’s largest Chinatown within the retail district of Dubai Creek Harbour, its six-square kilometre mega-development.
"The development of the new Chinese retal and lifestyle district at Dubai Creek Harbour - as well as Emaar’s expansion into China, both in property and hospitality - highlight our commitment to the country, and our focus on contributing to the strength and success of UAE-China relations,” Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar said.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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