By Shane McGinley
New research says 80% of retailers looking at MENA markets see UAE as first choice.
More than 80 percent of retail respondents planning to expand into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region said they were focusing on the UAE market, according to new research by a leading real estate consultancy.
The latest retail research report from CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) identified the UAE as the point of entry for most retailers and brands looking to expand in the Gulf region in 2010.
CBRE’s latest research report examined the current attitudes and 2010 expansion plans of 220 leading retailers, based on interviews conducted over the summer of 2009.
The research was conducted over the summer of 2009 and 220 retailers were interviewed.
Twenty-four percent of retailers said they were looking to target one or more countries within the MENA region, with 80 percent focusing on the UAE.
However, the research noted that Dubai has probably seen the greatest fall in retail spending.
Mark Morris-Jones, Director of Retail, CB Richard Ellis (Middle East), said: “We are looking at 2010 with guarded optimism. In terms of retail spend; Dubai has seen a fall in retail spending in comparison to Abu Dhabi and its others neighbours. Both cities are looking at tourism to play a major part in retail growth for next year, with shows like Formula One and FIFA World Club Tournament will bring added glitz, glamour and shoppers”.
The survey revealed that the retail sector which is planning the greatest expansion in 2010 is the grocery, food and beverage retailers, with over 40 percent looking to acquire more than 30 stores globally by the end of 2010.
However, a recent Arabian Business online poll found that consumers in the UAE are still not convinced that the worst is over following the impact of the global economic downturn, with 52 percent of those taking part in the survey are still pessimistic about the prospects for 2010.
This is despite fact that Nielsen’s latest Global Consumer Confidence Index found that the UAE’s index ranking surged during the third quarter from a score of 89 to 103, putting it eighth on the global list of 54 countries.
Shopping in Dubai and the UAE in general is so expensive and costs more than shopping in Europe or the US or even Asia. Not sure what will this new retailers sell us. Most of my shopping is done online and on the net.