Dubai,the fast emerger as a retail hub.

Dubai is fast emerging as a retail hub due to vast availability of land and huge tourist influx. The DCCI too supports it and said that retail trade in Dubai is becoming “elite”. According to the report “Retail Sector in Middle East”, in the Middle East region, the retail industry in GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) is witnessing unprecedented growth. The growth is centered on Dubai, the site for over 74% new retail projects of GCC. By 2008, the city will have two of the world’s five largest shopping malls, and its GLA (Gross Leasable Area) will increase by nearly 245% by 2007.The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) described retail trading in the city as becoming “elite”. In the news on Gulf News, the DCCI reported heavy involvement of both retailers and wholesalers in sales of branded products while the non-branded products are suffering from the city’s changing retail scenario.The findings by the DCCI were compiled from a study on 259 companies engaged in retail and wholesale businesses in Emirate. Wholesalers made up around 40% of the surveyed companies with the rest being retailers. Swanky shopping malls are an integral part of Dubai’s booming construction industry, creating millions of square feet of retail space as a result of major new real estate developments.Thanks to the obscurity in Dubai’s trade licensing, both retailers and wholesalers are engaged in certain amount of import and re-export activities. The survey reveals greater involvement of retailers in domestic trades with domestic markets accounting for 70% of their yearly sales while export/re-export markets are a mere 30%.Shopping is being preferred as a leisure activity in Dubai, becoming among the most sought- after attractions for tourists as well. Dubai’s malls attract more shoppers than most other markets. Shopping was considered the single favorite holiday pastime by over 80% of Middle Eastern tourists to Dubai.

In addition to massive supply-hub prospects, even the leading players find the Dubai retail market irresistible. Powered by solid economic progress and rising income levels, Dubai is fast progressing towards a retail boom with forecasts of soaring growth in retail market during the current decade when another two of the largest and grandest shopping centers in the world make their entry. Some estimates see Dubai joining the ranks of the most bustling shopping cities worldwide.

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