Retailers happy to get some World Cup fever



Football fans in the UAE are gearing up for the FIFA World Cup, rushing out to buy boots and jerseys ahead of the kick- off next Friday. Sales at sports shops in the Emirates have surged in recent weeks, retailers say. Jerish Silva, the Puma store manager at Deira City Centre in Dubai, said the store had seen a 50 per cent boost in business since the middle of last month.

"The impact is big," said Mr Silva. "Lots of Arabs come in and buy football apparel, especially to support the Algerian team. But we also see a lot of expatriates from Europe and South Africa buying stuff in support of their teams." The sporting goods market in the UAE was worth US$167.9 million (Dh616.7m) and is expected to grow by about 8 per cent this year to $181.1m, data from the research company Euromonitor show.

But with the hotly anticipated tournament about to start, retailers are hoping to reap even more rewards on the back of football fever. The World Cup is held only once every four years, so it is a key event for sporting retailers, said Vishal Bhatia, the marketing manager for the Dubai sporting goods chain Sun and Sand Sports. "The countdown has already begun ? like any city, Dubai is getting ready with a lot of [hotel] venues to watch the games live and that's having a knock-on effect in our stores as well."

Mirza Ali, a store supervisor at Sun and Sand Sports in Deira City Centre, said since it started its World Cup promotions on May 15, the outlet had seen a 20 per cent rise in sales. The number of customers rose by 15 per cent, he added. Meanwhile, Rafi Mesina, a salesman at the FILA sports store in Deira City Centre, said it usually did not sell much football gear but had stocked up after many customers asked for it. FILA brought in some Diadora football stock under a special agreement with the Italian brand, he said.

"It sold out immediately," Mr Mesina said. "One football coach from Tanzania came in and bought 600 pairs of Diadora sports shoes." @Email:aligaya@thenational.ae

Racecard

6.30pm: Mazrat Al Ruwayah Group Two (PA) US$55,000 (Dirt) 1,600m

7.05pm: Meydan Trophy (TB) $100,000 (Turf) 1,900m

7.40pm: Handicap (TB) $135,000 (D) 1,200m

8.15pm: Balanchine Group Two (TB) $250,000 (T) 1,800m

8.50pm: Handicap (TB) $135,000 (T) 1,000m

9.25pm: Firebreak Stakes Group Three (TB) $200,000 (D) 1,600m

10pm: Handicap (TB) $175,000 (T) 2,410m

The National selections: 6.30pm: RM Lam Tara, 7.05pm: Al Mukhtar Star, 7.40pm: Bochart, 8.15pm: Magic Lily, 8.50pm: Roulston Scar, 9.25pm: Quip, 10pm: Jalmoud

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

MATCH INFO:

Second Test

Pakistan v Australia, Tuesday-Saturday, 10am​​ daily​​​​​ at Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Entrance is free

Stormy seas

Weather warnings show that Storm Eunice is soon to make landfall. The videographer and I are scrambling to return to the other side of the Channel before it does. As we race to the port of Calais, I see miles of wire fencing topped with barbed wire all around it, a silent ‘Keep Out’ sign for those who, unlike us, aren’t lucky enough to have the right to move freely and safely across borders.

We set sail on a giant ferry whose length dwarfs the dinghies migrants use by nearly a 100 times. Despite the windy rain lashing at the portholes, we arrive safely in Dover; grateful but acutely aware of the miserable conditions the people we’ve left behind are in and of the privilege of choice. 

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Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

UAE tour of the Netherlands

UAE squad: Rohan Mustafa (captain), Shaiman Anwar, Ghulam Shabber, Mohammed Qasim, Rameez Shahzad, Mohammed Usman, Adnan Mufti, Chirag Suri, Ahmed Raza, Imran Haider, Mohammed Naveed, Amjad Javed, Zahoor Khan, Qadeer Ahmed

Fixtures: Monday, first 50-over match; Wednesday, second 50-over match; Thursday, third 50-over match

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures