Abercrombie & Fitch to open first UAE store at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates

It will be the third Abercrombie & Fitch store opened in the region following two stores in Kuwait earlier this year.

Abercrombie & Fitch is to open at Mall of the Emirates. Sarah Dea / The National
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Abercrombie & Fitch, the American fashion retailer, will open its first store in the UAE in Dubai’s Mall of Emirates (MOE).

The fashion brand is part of a joint venture with UAE based Majid Al Futtaim Fashion. The 18,000 sq ft store, which opens on Saturday, is one of the largest A&F mall-based stores in the world with a focus on the Abercrombie kids brand. It will be the third Abercrombie & Fitch store opened in the region following two stores in Kuwait earlier this year.

“International expansion in key growth markets remains a priority for Abercrombie & Fitch and we are delighted to bring a new store to the Middle East,” said Michael Scheiner, senior director, marketing & communications at Abercrombie & Fitch. “We know that there is a strong affinity for our brand in this part of the world, and we are excited to continue our development in the

region in partnership with Majid Al Futtaim Fashion.”

Majid Al Futtaim Fashion is the fashion retailing arm of Majid Al Futtaim, the group that owns and runs MOE and other City Centre branded malls.

The past 12 months has not provided the returns for retailers offered in previous years due to the weakening of certain currencies against the US dollar and fewer Chinese and Russian buyers. The exchange rate versus the US dollar means that people buying in euros and sterling find the UAE more expensive.

Majid Al Futtaim Fashion currently works with a number of leading fashion brands throughout the GCC & Levant region including Hollister, Juicy Couture, Hoss Intropia, Halston Heritage and Jane Norman. Majid Al Futtaim Fashion recently announced strategic partnerships with leading brands AllSaints, Maisons du Monde and lululemon athletica.

Industry experts feel that while global economic trends are buffeting the retailing environment, the UAE is still a resilient and positive climate.

“While luxury has been hit hard by the strong dollar and certain international travellers not arriving in the UAE, elsewhere it is positive,” said Diana Jarmalaite, research analyst with Euromonitor International.

“While mid-range fashion like Abercrombie & Fitch is a very competitive scene it is also a resilient sector because it is underpinned by the UAE residents who still have a very high disposable income. The newer brands are opening in MOE because it has just opened a new extension offering sparkling, bigger spaces for international brands – while tourists may be the target MOE still caters to many residents so it is well positioned.”


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