Kuwait ranked ninth among the top cities worldwide for retailing according to the Destination Retail report prepared by JLL, a financial and professional services firm specializing in commercial real estate services and investment management.
Dubai took fourth place with other Gulf markets also making their mark on the global shopping map, which was dominated by cities in Asia Pacific. Retail destinations in the Middle East are coming on strong, propelled by an ever-increasing array of international retailers, the report said.
One-third of the top 15 global retail cities are located in the Middle East, with Abu Dhabi at 11 and Jeddah and Riyadh tied for 12, JLL said. It added that GCC markets each have large quantities of affordable retail space, supported by franchise structures, which present viable options for international retailers and reduce their operational risk at entry.
Additionally, the domestic retail market in the Middle East is not as mature as other regions, allowing international brands to enter without too much competition from domestic brands. JLL’s report found that pent up shopping demand across the region has spurred some of the highest sales volumes for retailers.
In a battle between historic, established markets versus modern newcomers, JLL said London stands at the forefront of international retailing while Asia Pacific outranked all regions with 18 cities making the cut driven by sheer market size.
The report said cities in the United States make up just over one-quarter (26.4 percent) of the top 50 cities, with only one city (New York) in the top 15. JLL’s report examined the presence of 240 international retail brands and 140 international cities, including the drivers of their growth, opportunity and barriers, and also ranked and assessed the vitality and attractiveness of cities.