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Sun 31 May 2020 02:00 PM

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Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar tells retailers: 'Now is the time to be bold'

Emaar chairman spoke at special video conference with nine retailers as UAE gradually reopens business activities

Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar tells retailers: 'Now is the time to be bold'

Mohamed Alabbar has outlined Emaar’s outlook for the months ahead, and steps being taken to reassure its clients.

Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar has urged retailers to “be bold” as the UAE gradually comes out of the Covid-19 crisis.

In a special video conference call with over nine retailers on Sunday, hosted by Alabbar, he outlined the group’s outlook for the months ahead, and steps being taken to reassure its clients.

Alabbar said: “From extensive testing to the early lockdown measures that have allowed us to gradually and safely ease restrictions, the UAE has throughout this crisis shown wise leadership that is being admired across the globe.

“So now is the time to be bold.  Of course we are all being cautious. But we must not be afraid to act now in this new environment. This is the time to fast track many initiatives including our digital plans, customer experience, loyalty, efficiency and business diversification.”

The future is uncertain for the $55bn retail industry which has faced the brunt of Covid-19.

According to a KPMG report, in the first half of March, sales at luxury and fashion retailers in the UAE dropped 20-50 percent while those at F&B concepts sunk 30-80 percent compared to the year prior. It’s the worst news in years for retail in Dubai, which accounts for nearly 30 percent of the city’s GDP together with wholesale and F&B.

However, Alabbar told retailers that with The Dubai Mall now re-opened, along with many of its entertainment activities, it was important that the company worked closely with its partners to navigate through the months ahead.

He said: “We have been listening and learning from you, so we can continue to lead you in the right way, as our partners. We will continue to do so, adapting our own business model so we can help you overcome any obstacles and challenges that you still face.”

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