The UAE’s retail sector is estimated to grow around 32.9 per cent from Dhs114 billion in 2012 to reach Dhs151 billion by 2015, a new report has revealed.
According to Dubai FDI,  the country’s retail sector is poised for strong growth- aided by high disposable incomes, retail real estate expansion, a steady inflow of international retailers, population growth and rising fashion consciousness.
Dubai has also been benefiting from the economic competitiveness of the UAE and has attracted the attention of international investors.
“The vital role of retailing in economic development along with the constant growth in demand makes the sector one of the most lucrative foreign investment prospect in Dubai,” said Fahad Al Gergawi, chief executive officer of Dubai FDI.
Dubai’s retail sector  grew strongly in 2013 with a number of mega malls in the region undergoing a facelift. Major developers have also launched new mall projects in the emirate, citing strong demand from international brands and increased market capacity.
Al Gergawi said that the report highlights the potential of private-public partnerships in Dubai’s key industries such as retail, logistics, information technology (IT), healthcare and green technology.
He added that the ongoing expansion of transport infrastructure would boost investment prospects in logistics and related sectors in Dubai.
The UAE’s healthcare industry  is also ripe for foreign investments, the report said.
The country’s healthcare needs are expected to reach nearly Dhs30 billion by 2015, according to Dubai FDI. This, in turn, demands substantial investment in facility development and management in addition to private sector expertise in specialised research, diagnostics, therapies, education and training, the report added.
Sectors such as the IT and green technology are also estimated to benefit from foreign investments.
The UAE expects to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs) worth $14.4 billion in 2014, up almost 20 per cent from its current FDI levels, according to officials.
“In 2013, the UAE was able to attract three times more FDIs than expected and is the third most attractive country in West Asia for FDIs according to UNCTAD figures, ” said Abdulla Al Saleh, undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Economy, Foreign Trade Sector.
“The UAE also attracts around 40 per cent of the FDIs flowing into the GCC and we think we can increase that number.”
Saleh said that the UAE expects investments to grow due to the large number of tourists projected to come into the country during Expo 2020.
By Mary Sophia