Retail sector to draw 20 million visitors by 2020


Jones Lang LaSale Incorporated (JLL) an investment management company, recently released its Destination Retail report, naming Dubai fourth among the top cities in retailing worldwide. Though the list by JLL is mostly dominated by cities lying in Asia Pacific region but the cities in the Middle East are also proving themselves to be strong, and competitive, being pumped up with an increasing number of international retailers.

The company is regarded as one of the most trusted n the world. In 2016, it was referred to as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute for the ninth time in a row.

Few of the other Gulf markets, henceforth, have also made it to the global shopping scenario, according to the Destination Retail report. One-third of the mentioned top 15 global retail cities belongs to the Middle Eastern region. Kuwait has been listed as number 9 on the list while Abu Dhabi finished at No. 11. Both Jeddah and Riyadh are at a tie with each other, finishing at No. 12.

Andrew Williamson, Head of Retail, Mena for JLL, said, “Retail will continue to be a key pillar of the Dubai economy, and this report shows its strategy of attracting leading international retailers is working.”

In an epic battle between the historic, established and modern-day cities, JLL has indexed global cross-border retail activity and attractiveness. JLL’s report examined a total of 240 retail brands and 140 international cities.

According to Istathmir: London stands as the No. 1 global retailing powerhouse while Asia Pacific wins the race of having the most retailing cities with a common figure of 18. Cities in the United States, quite surprisingly, have not made any mark as only one city, New York, has reached the list of top 15 cities.

Because the domestic retail market of Middle East is not as mature as the Asian and European regions, international brands can enter the market easily without facing important competition from the domestic/local brands.

The wholesale and retail trade in the UAE is a crucial sector as it accounts for more than 11% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and in Dubai, it accounts for around 30% GDP.

Dubai’s excellent history of ‘shopping tourism’ also includes its hosting of the yearly Dubai Shopping Festival for more than two decades has seen it becoming the ultimate hub and paradise for the giants and major retail brands. According to the report, on the global map, Dubai has the highest levels when it comes to floor retail space per capita.

“As Dubai looks to welcome 20 million visitors by 2020, retail will play a crucial role in drawing in visitors from all over the globe. The city has an impressive history that is unmatched in the region when it comes to retail. And its position globally can only be enhanced given the high-quality retail space on offer to the world’s best-known and most-loved brands”, Mr. Williamson concluded.

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