Dubai retail spend to be highest in the GCC by 2009
Ever since the Dubai Shopping festival began in the 90’s, the retail industry has not stopped its rocketing upward surge in this gleaming metropolis nestled on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. A paradise for shoppers and boom time for retailers and mall developers, Dubai is clearly proving to be the ideal retail.
There has always been a concern in the Gulf on the overdose of shopping malls and pundits have always bemoaned the non-requirement of any further development but there is a loud voice of disagreement. “Industry indicators estimate demand for up to 400 new malls across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia in the next 10 years,” says Paula Al Chami, DMG world media exhibition organiser.
According to Paula, the region has two billion potential consumers in countries where the GDP is expanding at a rate in excess of 5%. Over 50% of the population in this region is under the age of 20 and a large proportion will become consumers in the medium to long-term time span.
By 2009, Dubai is expected to have the highest retail spend in the GCC, higher than Saudi Arabia and despite having a population one-twentieth the size. Most of this spend will be generated from the expected15 million tourists.
In terms of money, Dubai leads with US$ 7.6 billion as compared to Saudi Arabia with US$ 6 billion. Both these leaders are closely followed by Abu Dhabi (US$1.9), Bahrain (US$1.4) and Qatar (US$1.4) respectively.
Dubai has taken a lead that may be nigh impossible to overtake. At the helm of its long list of projects that incorporate malls of various sizes, shapes and themes is the Dubai Mall, which will be constructed close to the Burj Dubai Tower, and will be the largest mall in the world. The mall is being pegged to be larger than the gigantic West Edmonton Mall in Canada and the Mall of America in Minneapolis, USA.
Dubai’s neighbours are close on its heels, including the USD$266 million Al Shobily Grand Mall in Saudi Arabia, the US$400 million City Centre in Bahrain and the US$52 million Dar Al Awadi Centre in Kuwait.
This is enough impetus for exhibitions such as the InRetail event, which brings together various players in the market to meet and do business. Preparing for it’s second run from 3rd to 5th June 2007 at the prestigious Dubai International Exhibition Centre, the exhibition will focus on attracting the shopping mall developers and retailers together on a common platform.
Its inaugural event this year was a tremendous success and all participants have exhibited excitement to be part of the upcoming one. Given the boom in Dubai’s economy and scale of the retail surge, InRetail is looking forward for yet another momentous event.