By Andy Sambidge
Business Monitor International report says retail sales set to grow to $28.7bn in four years
The UAE's GDP per capita is predicted to rise by 22 percent to just under $75,000 by 2015, according to a new report by Business Monitor International.
Its Q2 2011 UAE Retail Report also forecast that the country’s retail sales will grow from an estimated AED79.35bn ($21.61bn) in 2011 to AED105.47bn ($28.72bn) in the same period.
The report also said the UAE’s nominal GDP was likely to grow by three percent this year, with average annual GDP growth of 3.6 percent to 2015.
BMI analysts said with the population increasing from an expected 4.8m in 2011 to an estimated 5.2m by 2015, GDP per capita would rise to $74,999.
Average household spending power in the UAE stands at $14,400 per annum, property consultant Colliers International said in a previous report.
Emirati households accounted for the lion’s share of this spending with an average of $23,000, while Western, other Arab and Asian households have annual spending power of $19,500, $13,500 and $10,000 respectively.
"Tourism is also a massive factor in stimulating retail growth, with the UAE expecting the number of tourists to have totalled more than 11m in 2010," the BMI report added.
BMI said growing urbanisation was another factor in the buoyancy of the retail sector, in particular in Abu Dhabi where the city's population is forecast to rise to 1.3m by 2013.
Retail sub-sectors predicted by BMI to show strong growth over the forecast period include automotive sales with sales growth of just under 50 percent, from an expected 403,296 units in 2011 to 600,672 units by 2015, largely as a result of growth in the luxury car market.
Sales of consumer electronics are also expected to increase from a forecast $3.14bn in 2011 to $3.97bn by 2015, a rise of more than 26 percent.
"The UAE’s consumer electronics market is one of the largest in the Gulf, accounting for close to 40 percent of regional spending and serving a potential market of almost 2bn people across Asia and the Middle East," BMI's study added.
Food sales, forecast to be worth $7.71bn in 2011, are expected to increase by 34 percent to $10.33bn by 2015, the report noted.