UAE retail environment explored
Dubai, November 28, 2010
Dubai School of Government, a research and teaching institution focusing on public policy, and Armada, a leading distribution company, recently co-hosted a discussion on UAE’s retail environment.
With UAE’s retail space supply set to grow by approximately six million sq ft of gross leasable area (GLA) by 2013, and demand for retail space making a healthy comeback at three to five per cent annual increase, the focus is once again on this industry to become a key growth sector in the region, said David Macadam, head of retail Mena, Jones Long LaSalle.
He referred to the study which determines the key factors behind the forecast as strong underlying economic growth despite the recent downturn, increasing household consumption, growing acceptance of modern retailing concepts and expatriate wealth.
Macadam’s observations, based on Jones Lang LaSalle’s UAE Retail Market Overview (November 2010 UAE), came during a seminar titled ‘Turning Footfalls into Purchases: Improving Retail in the UAE’ held at the Dubai School of Government (DSG).
Dr Tarik Yousef, dean of the Dubai School of Government (DSG), said: “The retail sector is one of the pillars of the UAE’s economy, and its competitiveness has boosted the country as a global tourism destination.”
“However, challenges posed by the global financial downturn, as well as increasing international competition, mean that the industry must continue to reinvent itself through innovative approaches in order to sustain growth.”
“This lecture has offered retailers the opportunity to learn directly from industry analysts and experts about specific trends, as well as possible avenues for improving competitiveness,” he added.
Michel Fattal, vice-president of Fattal Holding and chairman of Armada, said: “The UAE retail market is one of the most competitive and developed landscapes in the GCC and in the World; major international retailers have decided to establish footprint in that market.
“It is also a fantastic window for regional companies, who, through their presence in the UAE can anticipate upcoming changes in more traditional markets in the region,” Fattal concluded. – TradeArabia News Service