Brand retailing remains strong in Dubai

DUBAI — The opening of new stores within established malls in the UAE, as well as the building of new malls, are part of the grand plan to strengthen Dubai's position as one of the world's leading shopping destinations.

By Lucia Dore (Senior Correspondent)

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Published: Fri 25 Aug 2006, 9:21 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:20 PM

Nine new retail outlets have just opened at Al Ghurair City, increasing to more than 200 the number of stores that have opened at the country's oldest mall. The new retail offerings include women's fashion brands La City from France and Le Chateau from Canada; fashionable lingerie store La Vien Rose; international fashion accessory store Bonita; children's fashion wear Claire Kids, and food outlet Pollo Ranchero, who are well-known for their Latino-flavoured food products.

Other new stores that have opened during the summer season at Al Ghurair City are Aptec Mobile, the leading distributor of telecommunication products across the MENA region; Boboli, the top Spanish fashion brand for children, and Girandola, the renowned children's fashion brand from Portugal, which have been brought to the mall by leading fashion retailer, the WHM Group.

Several new shopping malls are also being built including the City of Arabia, Dubailand, Dubai Festival City, Dubai Outlet City, Burj Dubai complex, Dubai Pearl complex, and The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence. Some estimates put the number of visitors to Dubai's 25 major malls at around 80 million in 2005.

The opening of new malls, and the introduction of new brands en masse, obviously increases the competition faced by retailers in Dubai. But ‘business is still increasing despite this,’ said Muhammed Abu Hishme, marketing manager at UAE Trading/Rodeo Drive, the luxury retailer with brands such as Ermenigildo Zegna.

Establishing top-end brands are an important part of Dubai's strategy to become a leading fashion capital. Brand retailers come to Dubai because it is perceived as a dynamic market. For many of these retailers, business remains strong, despite global economic conditions and the political situation that could suggest otherwise.

The reason for demand holding up for retailers such as Zegna is that ‘Zegna and the brands in Rodeo Drive experience very strong brand loyalty assuring us that Dubai and Abu Dhabi residents, as well as international visitors, keep on returning every season for the new collections,’ said Abu Hishme. ‘A big part of our customer base are the businessmen as well as wealthy, fashion-conscious tourists who keep increasing in number,’ he added.

He continued: ‘People come to Dubai with the intention of spending their money as Dubai is now a premier shopping destination in the world.’

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