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UAE retail visitors on the rise despite low oil

DUBAI, March 13, 2017

Unperturbed by the fall in oil prices and global economic uncertainties, the number of retail visitors has gone up significantly in the UAE according to a market study conducted by Sàvant Data System, a leading solutions and services company providing business intelligence (BI) to the retail sector in GCC.

As per the report, the UAE accounted for the highest retail and mall visitor distribution in the GCC region in 2016. The consistent efforts by the government to attract tourists and shoppers has evidently been fruitful.

The research study states the mall and retail visitor distribution in the GCC region have upped as compared to 2015.

Vic Bageria, CEO and CVO of Sàvant Data System, said: ‘It is a positive story for the region. There has been a rise in visitors by 5.8 per cent as compared to 2015 (within the SDS retail client base). While the figures are reassuring, it is important that the retailers see this change of footfall and form pull strategies to widen their business. Having said that it is important to understand consumer behavior and changing trends and customise their strategies accordingly.”

Retail Visitor Distribution
While Qatar and Lebanon showed the lowest percentage of retail visitor distribution, 1.15 per cent and 0.02 per cent respectively, Saudi Arabia took the second spot after UAE, with 34.39 per cent of the total footfall. The UAE, on the other hand, has accounted for (almost) half of the total retail visitor distribution with a whopping share of 49.95 per cent. The attraction towards new deals and offerings is clearly on the rise.

The research conducted by Savant Data System shows that Dubai itself attracted 171,568,575 visitors i.e. 25.8 per cent of the total retail visitor distribution. A major contributor to this is the government’s sustainability efforts towards making Dubai a green economy. Also, Abu Dhabi attracted 67,944,386 visitors i.e. 10.2 per cent of the total retail visitor distribution, which is majorly a result of Abu Dhabi’s recent development plans (including the Etihad Rail Project worth Dh40 billion/$10.8 billion) to facilitate smooth mobility and hassle-free trade.

Mall Visitor Distribution    
The mapping statistics released by Savant Data System for a GCC Mall revealed that the UAE is the most sought after region for mall visitors, accounting for 62.09 per cent of the total mall visitor distribution, followed by Kuwait, and Qatar with 33.76 per cent and 4.15 per cent respectively.

While Kuwait recently opened its Al Kout Mall (Tamdeen Group) boasting of 260 outlets, Qatar is all set to open nine malls this year i.e. Al Hazm Mall, Doha Mall, Katara Mall, Al Mirqab Mall, Tawar Mall, Doha Festival City, Northgate, Place Vendome and Marina Mall.

Interestingly, Doha Film City will be relying on smart solutions to enhance visitor experiences.

Mall developments in Abu Dhabi include the Reem Mall worth $1 billion, Maryah Central worth $409 million, Al Falah Mall worth $239 million and Saadiyat Island worth $200million. Also, with Majid Al Futtaim’s recent rise in revenue, it is set to keep its developments in Egypt on track– the City Centre Almaza and Mall of Egypt.

However, the UAE remains the top shopping destination as it continues to add more retail spaces like the Springs Village mall and the Emaar Malls’ new shopping spaces coming up at the Dubai Creek Harbour and Dubai Hills Estate.

Dubai’s Future Retail Perspective
Mall projects worth $4 billion will be allotted to developers this year in Dubai. According to the Middle East Economic Digest, 2017 will be the year of mega retail for Dubai as it will continue to dominate the retail market, owing to its popularity amongst tourists and shoppers alike. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: GCC | retail | visitors |

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