Dubai: Smart Dubai and Dubai Department of Economic Development have launched a data initiative for the retail sector, which will examine data sets to understand catchment areas for retailers and malls from which they draw customers.

The data will also track visitor flow and spending trends at one of Dubai’s largest malls. Also involved in the project is Majid Al Futtaim Group. “The initiative is a pragmatic step to materialise the objectives of the Private Sector Data Engagement Strategy, which brings the public and private sectors together to collaborate on data,” said Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director-General, Smart Dubai. “Our focus on the retail sector stems from the immense contribution it makes to Dubai’s economy. Indeed, wholesale and retail was by far the emirate’s largest sector in 2018. It accounted for 26.4 per cent of GDP — more than double the contribution of the second sector in line, transportation and storage, which accounted for just 12.3 per cent.” The initiative is to be overseen by a steering committee, co-chaired by DED Director-General Sami Al Qamzi and Dr. Aisha.