Dubai adds feathers to its cap

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Dubai adds feathers to its cap

Dubai enhanced its status as the second most targeted city for international retailers as the UAE emerged as the world’s second most preferred retail market, a global survey has found.

By Issac John

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Published: Thu 19 Apr 2012, 12:28 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:58 PM

The latest report by CB Richard Ellis, a leading global property adviser, said Dubai attracted 53.8 per cent of the global retail brands surveyed, narrowly missing out to London, which claimed the number one position with 55.5 per cent.

London benefited from a mini tourism boom in 2011 and remains a key hub for retailers looking to expand into Europe.

“For retailers the UAE remains a very interesting and important market both for those brands currently trading and those aspiring to enter the market,” said Nicholas Maclean, managing director of CBRE Middle East.

In the meantime, Dubai’s foreign trade climbed to a record Dh1.1 trillion in 2011, up 22 per cent from the previous year, according to the customs authority.

Imports increased 21 per cent to Dh442 billion, while exports rose 44 per cent to Dh98 billion. Re-export trade climbed 18 per cent to Dh161 billion, the authority said. Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, said the record surge in the volume of Dubai foreign trade “reflects the strength of our national economy and its consistency”, adding that it is also result of prudent financial and economic policies adopted by the national financial institutions under directives by the wise leadership.

He called on all competent authorities to double efforts and step up cooperation and coordination to sustain the momentum of the economic and trade boom.

In March, Dubai was voted the most popular living destination in the Middle East and North Africa for the third time in a row by Saneou Al Hadath publication. The city has also been ranked among the top-10 most sought-after global tourist and business destinations.

For European and Asia-Pacific retailers, Dubai is the most important target area for expansion, and the Mena region as a whole is reported to be the second most important globally, CBRE Middle East’s Maclean pointed out. “These findings pay tribute to Dubai’s integrated transport, leisure and hotels infrastructure supporting the retail globalisation trend.”

Hamad Buamim, Director General of Dubai Chamber, said retail has been one of the fastest growing industries and one of the leading drivers of economic growth in the UAE. “ The findings of the CBRE report further cement Dubai’s position as a truly international business and leisure destination.”

The annual survey mapped the global footprint of 326 of the world’s top retailers across more than 200 cities.

The report found that retailers expanded into a wide range of markets in 2011, with 74 per cent of the countries in the survey seeing at least one new retailer enter the market last year. The overall global footprint of retailers grew 2.1 per cent.

New York, which attracted 43.9 per cent of the global retailers, remains in third position, while Moscow moves up the rankings to join Paris in fourth position ahead of Hong Kong. Kuwait City was another big mover, rising to eighth position from 12th place last year.

In the category of most targeted countries by global retailers, the UK holds onto first position in the rankings closely followed by the UAE (53.1 per cent) and the US (50.3 per cent).

Spain is in fourth position, closely followed by China, with France and Germany joint sixth in the rankings. Russia, Italy and Saudi Arabia make up the remainder of the top 10, the survey results suggest. —

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