During the course of 2015, Dubai attracted 38 new international brands, with high profile retailers including All Saints and Old Navy.
Dubai - The emirate also ranked seventh in the top target markets by new entrants
Dubai has retained its position as the second most important international shopping destination globally for the fifth consecutive year, following closely behind London, CBRE's 2016 edition of the 'How Global is the Business of Retail?', report has found.
The report analyses the operational networks of 334 leading international retailers across 61 countries and covers the vast majority of the world's economy. It was revealed that Dubai has a presence of 57 per cent of international retailers, second to London at 57.9 per cent, and followed by Shanghai at 54.4 per cent. During the course of 2015, Dubai attracted 38 new international brands, with high profile retailers including All Saints and Old Navy.
The majority of the brands in Dubai originate from Europe and the US, with a lesser number from Asia and the Middle East; potentially attributed to the economic situation in the home markets. Markedly, Abu Dhabi featured high on the list of European and APAC retailers, with 40.6 per cent and 11.8 per cent of retailers in the market in 2015 respectively.
"Dubai has been witnessing a very positive growth in its retail segment over the past five years," Hamad Buamim, president & CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said. "Despite all the challenges, Dubai remains a safe and attractive place to do business. There are two factors that are currently driving the attractiveness of Dubai as a business destination: the first is the growth in the country's population, and the second is the growth in tourism to the country. Tourism, in particular, is a vital segment for the country, as the increase in visitors means more spending."
"Retail is a major backbone of Dubai's economy, constituting almost 30 per cent of Dubai's GDP. Dubai's 2016 retail sales are expected to reach Dh160 billion, and this figure is expected to continue growing at a compound annual growth rate of 8.1 per cent until 2020, when Dubai's retailing sales turnover is expected to surpass Dh190 billion," he added.
Nick Maclean, managing director of CBRE Middle East, noted: "Dubai's global connectivity and stature as hub for trade between the East and West has clearly given an impetus in the retail sector. Over the last decade the emirate has established itself as a globally recognised retail tourism destination, attracting millions of visitors from across the globe each year. Dubai has cemented its position as the location of choice for international brands looking to enter the region and widen their footprint to rollout their brands and concept stores."
The report also found that compared to European and American retailers, Asia-Pacific (APAC) retailers continue to be less focused on expansion outside their own region. With many retailers from the continent preferring to concentrate on the growth at home. However, Dubai was once again the most infiltrated city by a large and growing margin, with 23.5 per cent of all APAC brands present in the city. Other Middle Eastern cities are also popular destinations for APAC retailers with Abu Dhabi, Kuwait City and Doha all in the top five.
Buamim also noted that Dubai had overcome a key challenge in recent years by expanding its infrastructure to allow more brands to enter the region. The recent expansions of many of the malls in the country, not only highlighted the ongoing demand for retail space in the country, but would also go a long way in serving as a platform for many of the brands that had previously been unable to enter the country, he said.
Dubai's F&B market has been a key focus in recent years, and continues to attract significant interest from both international and home grown restaurant brands. According to CBRE's F&B report released last month, UAE residents ranked as third biggest F&B spenders, positioning the outlook for the F&B sector as positive as it continues to see significant spending on socalising and eating out, generated by UAE nationals and expatriates alike.