Dubai has retained its position as the second most important international retail destination globally for the third consecutive year, closely behind London.
According to the 2014 edition of How Global is the Business of Retail? by CBRE, London and Dubai are significantly ahead of New York, Moscow and Shanghai.
CBRE’s annual survey analyses the operational networks of 334 leading international retailers across 189 cities and 61 countries covering the vast majority of the world’s economy.
Dubai saw 19 new retail entrants during 2013, and with a number of major malls under development and some of the existing ones undergoing a face lift, the emirate expects to garner further interest from international retailers looking to enter the region.
Nick Maclean, managing director, CBRE Middle East, said: “Dubai’s success in retaining its position as the second most important city in terms of international retailer presence underpins its status as a regional hub for business and tourism.
"The retail sector remains one of the most vital streams for economic activity in the Emirate and the industry is likely to witness significant growth in the lead up to Expo 2020 in six years’ time.”
The report’s findings were revealed in the Middle East with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry at their headquarters in Dubai, and in association with Majid Al Futtaim Properties.
Hamad Buamim, president & CEO, Dubai Chamber, added: “The UAE economy has been witnessing steady growth over the last few years. Dubai has clearly benefitted from the economic competitiveness and the emirate’s retail sector continues to be driven on the back of strong growth exhibited by tourism, aviation and capital inflow.”
According to the report, Abu Dhabi was ranked fourth among the hottest retail markets attracting 42 new brands in 2013. Paris took the lead position, attracting significantly more new retailers than any other city with a total of 50 new retailers.
Maclean added: “For many global retailers, the Middle East is a prime location for new representation and with a substantial shopping centre pipeline under development, Abu Dhabi represents a significant opportunity for them."
The report also said retailers focused on more mature markets in 2013 with 18 of the top target cities considered mature markets compared with only 14 in the previous year.
George Kostas, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, said: “Our Dubai-based shopping malls have seen an eight percent growth in footfall to 81 million visitors, with a significant share for tourists who accounted for 25 percent of visitors to Mall of the Emirates in 2013.
"We are certain that demand will continue to rise and, as such, we are investing AED3 billion to ensure that our facilities are enhanced and expanded in order to meet future demand."
The report found that the overall footprint of global retailers at country level grew by 1.7 percent. Over half of retailers (51 percent) are now present in all three major global regions - The Americas, Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific - a slight increase on the previous year.
The number of new entrants at city level was up by 26 percent year-on-year, with an increasing number of retailers crossing borders to grow their businesses.