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Dubai retail sales forecast to exceed $43b by 2021, new analysis shows

A new Dubai Chamber study reveals key factors to fuel this growth include rising tourist numbers and high footfalls at major malls

Gulf News

Dubai: The value of retail sales in Dubai is expected to reach $43.8 billion (Dh160.7 billion) by 2021, while the emirate’s retail market is projected to record average growth of 5.6 per cent over the 2018-2021 period, new analysis conducted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has revealed.

The analysis, based on recent data from Euromonitor International, Core Savills Research, Mastercard and New World Wealth, showed that Dubai has firmly positioned itself as one of the world’s top shopping destinations, while the interplay between the emirate’s retail, real estate, travel and tourism markets continues to strengthen Dubai’s value proposition for consumers and investors.

Key factors expected to fuel retail sector growth include the rising number of tourists and high occupancy levels at major retail centres and shopping malls, in addition to high per capital income, strong international brand presence and a consumer base that likes to spend on retail, food and beverage and leisure activities.

With more than 60 shopping centres and major international brands, Dubai has the second-highest density of shopping malls in the world ranking only behind New York, thanks to its high visitor to resident ratio.

Mall density

Mall density in Dubai is nearly 380 per cent higher than that of London and 240 per cent of Paris. This can be attributed to the fact that European markets have a stronger high street market, in addition to a much higher population base. Dubai is also positioned higher than other Asian markets which have a significant mall stock such as Hong Kong (by 113 per cent) and Singapore (by 56 per cent).

Dubai ranks highest among global retail hubs in terms of international visitors spend according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. In 2017, total international visitor spend in Dubai amounted to $28 billion, a figure which is 77 per cent higher than London.

Compared with other global retail destinations, Dubai offers the most competitive prime rents, with an average cost of approximately $8,400 per square meter as of the third quarter of 2017.

The analysis revealed that Dubai retail market size grew to $35 billion in 2017, accounting for around 67 per cent share of the UAE’s total retail market size. Major retail centres and shopping malls were close to full occupancy over the 2016-2017 period. Meanwhile, Dubai accounted for around 49 per cent of all shopping malls in the UAE, followed by Abu Dhabi with 36 per cent.

Dubai remains an attractive destination for international brands, thanks to several economic indicators and key factors such as its strong presence of brands, rising per capita income, economic growth prospects and a consumer base with a desire to spend on merchandise, products, leisure, attractions and food and beverages.

In addition, Dubai’s development of new strategies is expected to contribute to sustaining market momentum as retailers introduce new experiences to local and overseas shoppers, while e-commerce activity is expected to increase in the medium term.

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