Abu Dhabi in global retail ‘hot list’, Dubai second ‘hottest’ after London

But the capital still has some way to go to catch Dubai in total number of brands and available retail space.
Abu Dhabi ranked fourth in a list of 'hot markets' with 42 new international brand entrants in 2014. Above, people enjoy their first day at The Galleria on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi. Silvia Razgova / The National
Abu Dhabi ranked fourth in a list of 'hot markets' with 42 new international brand entrants in 2014. Above, people enjoy their first day at The Galleria on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi. Silvia Razgova / The National

Abu Dhabi has been named one of the world’s hottest retail markets after attracting 42 new brands to the capital last year.

The capital ranked fourth in a list of “hot markets” contained in the property broker CBRE’s “How Global is the Business of Retail?” report.

Paris topped the chart with 50 new brands.

“If you look at the 8 million sq feet of net lettable space coming into the Abu Dhabi over the next three years, it is in key local areas so the community concept is far more important in the capital,” said Nicolas Maclean, CBRE’s regional managing director. “The nature of retail in Abu Dhabi is more complimentary to the people that live there and to UAE nationals.”

But the capital still has some way to go to catch Dubai in total number of brands and available retail space.

“Abu Dhabi, in terms of retail footprint, is a long way behind Dubai,” said Mr Maclean. “If you look at the new schemes coming into the capital at the moment they are much more luxurious. If you look at the Galleria, it’s a small scale, but it’s bringing luxury brands into the market, and becoming more complimentary to the Dubai market.

Dubai was named as the world’s second-best overall retail destination, behind London, for the third successive year. London and Dubai were significantly ahead of New York, Moscow and Shanghai, which made up the top five. The impact of soaring passenger growth at Dubai International Airport on the retail industry has also been highlighted.

London passenger growth was 13 per cent to 16 million visitors. Dubai’s airport welcomed 16 per cent more arrivals to 11 million visitors. The rest of the top five recorded single-digit growth.

“Dubai’s tourism and retail have gone hand in hand and we foresee growth in this hugely important area for the city,” said Hamad Buamim, the director general of Dubai Chamber of Commerce.

ascott@thenational.ae

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Published: May 28, 2014 04:00 AM

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