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Maclean: UAE residents spend an average Dh68 per mall visit.

UAE residents ranked third biggest F&B spenders

DUBAI, April 13, 2016

UAE residents ranked the third biggest F&B spenders globally in shopping malls, following their counterparts in Norway and Switzerland, according to a new report released by global property advisor CBRE.

The Food and Beverage (F&B) report - which surveyed 22,000 consumers across 22 markets - showed that UAE residents spend on average, approximately Dh 68 ($18.5) per person, per mall visit – just Dh 6 behind Switzerland, which took the number one spot for F&B spend at Dh74.

Over half of UAE respondents agreed that they tend to spend more time shopping if they consume F&B in a mall.  The positive ripple effect on retail spend is evident, with 57.4 per cent of UAE respondents admitting to ‘almost always’ visiting shops, while the original motivator behind the visit was consuming the F&B on offer at the shopping destination.

Quantifying this impact, the report found that UAE shoppers’ total retail spend reaches Dh 208 per person, per visit, positioning the Emirates in 8th place behind the biggest overall retail spenders, Belgium (Dh 281) and Switzerland (Dh 287).

Nick Maclean, managing director of CBRE, Middle East said: “F&B accounts for approximately between 10-20 per cent of the retail mix in Dubai, with this weighting expected to grow to around 25-30 per cent in the next five years, as F&B continues to play a disproportionately important role to shoppers in the Emirates.”

“The findings reveal that while the location of a shopping mall is key, the retail mix and F&B facilities are also paramount – a crucial insight for developers of new, large-scale shopping malls, who are placing an increased emphasis on creating a compelling, varied and innovative F&B offering as a means to attract retailers and shoppers, and to boost retail spend,” he added.

According to the report, two thirds (66 per cent) of UAE respondents consider the F&B experience in a shopping mall as ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important in determining where to visit, while over half of those surveyed stated that stopping to consume F&B is an important part of the experience when visiting a shopping mall.

Of the UAE respondents surveyed, 51 per cent of people want to see more healthy food, while 23 per cent want to see fewer fast food chains.

Changing demand trends among consumers has made way for a greater focus on independent offers and ‘pop-up’ restaurants concepts – with an innovative, and increasingly personalised, F&B experience at the core of consumers’ desire to see ‘something different,’ and not only the ‘established norm.’

Whilst we seeing a growing presence of international F&B brands in the UAE, there is an opportunity for UAE brands to own a greater share of the F&B market, whilst also exporting their concept overseas.

Erik Volkers, associate director, CBRE Middle East, said: “While the UAE is no stranger to international retail concepts, with 55.7 per cent of global brands present - we are seeing increased ‘appetite’ for home-grown F&B concepts domestically, and there is an opportunity to export these concepts internationally.

“With UAE brands such as Wild Peeta and The Noodle House making their mark in global markets, locally inspired F&B concepts are emerging as a key trend, with the likes of Tom & Serg shifting the spotlight to healthy, quality and local restaurant options.”

Ahmed Galal Ismail, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Ventures, said: “When we opened the first integrated retail destination in the Middle East with City Centre Deira over 20 years ago, we’ve understood the role of F&B in the success of a shopping development. As people’s taste and appetite for F&B evolve, we’ve innovated our offerings to include more F&B options in our shopping malls.”

“We upgraded the F&B in our leisure and entertainment attractions like ThEATre by Rhodes’ Michelin Star food at VOX Cinemas and our three cafes at Ski Dubai; and created a higher level of dining with unique standalone restaurant concepts next to retail outlets through our Gourmet Gulf partnership. Demand in the UAE for greater culinary experiences will continue and we need to ensure that we are exceeding those expectations to deliver success for both the F&B and retail industries,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: UAE | malls | Food and beverage |

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