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Mega mall growth sparks demand for retail design

Dubai, April 19, 2009

Massive shopping mall growth in the UAE and other parts of the Gulf is fuelling a huge demand for retail design and shop fitting expertise, with designers, interior architects and furnishing suppliers looking to cash in as the trend continues.

Highlighted by a rush of mega mall developments in Dubai and seemingly unaffected by the credit crisis, the retail boom has triggered a big surge in retail spending, and the design and shop fitting trade is set to capitalise as more retailers seek expert help to make their stores and their products, stand out, said an expert.

“Retailers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of investing in professional design and shop fitting, whether it is for a new retail outlet or refurbishment,” said Sinead Bridgett, exhibition director of the annual InRetail exhibition.

Organised by dmg world media, last year’s InRetail exhibition attracted more than 5,000 industry visitors.

This year’s event will run from November 14 to 17 at Dubai International Exhibition Centre alongside Index, and will feature a major line-up of retail manufacturers and suppliers eager to exploit the lucrative regional market.

“The new generation of mega malls contain hundreds of shops, cafes and other outlets, and competition for business is fierce. Retailers have to think of new and interesting ways to display their products, and lure shoppers inside, instead of watching them walk by,” she pointed out.

“According to Retail International, Dubai’s retail spending could cross Dh27.89 billion ($7.6 billion) by the end of 2009,” said Bridgett.

“By then, retail activities in shopping centres is expected to contribute about 50 per cent to Dubai's gross domestic product," she noted.

"At the same time, Abu Dhabi's retail spending will reach Dh7.19 billion, while in Sharjah, it will cross Dh2.36 billion. Overall, retail spending in the UAE is expected to touch almost Dh37.44 billion a year by 2009," she added.

According to Bridgett, the potential retail market in the Gulf region overall is endless, with an annual growth in consumer spending in the next five years projected at 10-20 per cent.

“Meanwhile, a report on real estate carried out by real estate firm Colliers says that over 70 per cent of forthcoming shopping malls due to enter the Dubai market between now and 2010 have already been let out," she observed.

“It means there will be a massive number of new retail outlets requiring design and shop fitting expertise. At City of Arabia in Dubai, Mall of Arabia alone will have more than 1,400 retails outlets, so there’s massive scope for retail design and shop fitting specialists,” she added.

Bringing the full spectrum of retail design, shop fittings, furnishings and retail technology all under one roof, this year’s InRetail exhibition will feature more than 120 exhibitors from over 20 countries around the world, the ‘Innovations in Retail’ seminar programme and for the first time, an official German pavilion.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: growth | Mega mall | retail design |

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