Marka said it would open the first City Chic store in Dubai at Festival City Mall. Rachel Murray / Getty Images for City Chic / AFP
Marka said it would open the first City Chic store in Dubai at Festival City Mall. Rachel Murray / Getty Images for City Chic / AFP

Marka to open three City Chic stores in the UAE

Marka is bringing an Australian fashion brand for fuller-figured women to the UAE.

The Dubai retailer plans to open three City Chic stores before the end of the year as it continues its acquisition spree since listing its shares a year ago. The “plus-size” fashion market is a fast-growing retail segment according to the Marka chief executive Nick Peel who said the City Chic deal would address an “important gap in the GCC’s fashion scene”. Marka said it would open the first City Chic store in Dubai at Festival City Mall.

The retailer has already launched four international fashion brands in the UAE: Laurèl; Weill; Essentiel Antwerp; and Sonia by Sonia Rykiel.

Last month, the company said it narrowed its second-quarter losses as it started accruing revenues from its operations. Marka, which listed on the Dubai Financial Market last September, posted a loss of Dh2.14 million for the three months to June compared with a loss of Dh8.3m reported in the first quarter of 2015.

The company has been busy adding brands this year, acquiring a majority stake in the children’s entertainment group Cheeky Monkeys, the restaurant chain Reem Al Bawadi and the sports memorabilia company Icons. It also bought Retailcorp from the Dubai investment company Istithmar.

Another addition to its food and beverage portfolio was the restaurant brand Taste of Italy by Heinz Beck.

Marka also plans to take UK-based ice-cream chain Morelli’s to Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, Egypt and expand further in Saudi Arabia.

The company also expects to launch Harper’s Bazaar Cafe at the Dubai Design District in October.

Marka now operates 34 stores, and has plans to increase that number to 64 during the next year.

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