Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed a high-profile trade mission of over 35 British business representatives from the retail sector, led by Lord Livingston, UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment, at its head office on Sunday.
The delegation, which is here as part of the GREAT Week UAE, met with H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, and representatives of the Retail Business Group operating under the umbrella of the Chamber, to discuss increased bilateral relations and two-way trade and investment between Dubai and UK’s retail sector.
In his welcome address, H.E. Buamim stated that Dubai Chamber was working to strengthen its ties with UK, especially in the retail sector as retail is important for both the countries’ economy adding that London is ranked first globally for retail representation and is closely followed by Dubai thanks to the constant tourist flow to the emirate.
He further stressed that retail accounts for 13% of Dubai’s GDP and helps to attract millions of tourists from all across the world. UAE’s retail sales are forecast to grow to AED 151 billion by 2015 – a significant portion of which will originate in Dubai, he said.
Dubai is undertaking substantial investment in the retail sector through new developments, in the run up to Expo 2020 which point to the various and numerous future options for global retailers across Dubai, said H.E. Buamim.
Looking at the current set up of Dubai’s market, European retailers have traditionally favoured the city as a destination for overseas expansion. So have Asian retailers as their domestic markets become saturated which will push Dubai closer towards its goal of becoming the leading global retail destination, he added.
The President and CEO of Dubai Chamber informed that presently, Dubai Chamber has 2,667 British companies under its membership. The UK is ranked Dubai’s 10th largest non-oil trade partner, with imports and exports valuing around AED 27 billion. We hope that with the UK’s efforts to increase its presence in the UAE and our increased cooperation we can lift this value higher, he said.
Lord Livingston said: "I am delighted to have met the leaders of the UAE retail industry at Dubai Chamber. The UK and UAE have much to offer each other in the retail, luxury and design industries and I look forward to our countries fostering closer relations in these sectors in the future.”