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04/04/2017 - 14:59hs

UAE retail sector’s worth to reach USD 71 billion

The estimate for 2021 was made by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The sector is expected to grow 4.9% per year in the country. In 2016, Dubai added 250,000 square meters in new retail stores.

São Paulo – The United Arab Emirates retail sales turnover is expected to exceed USD 71 billion in 2021 and grow 4.9% per year until then. The forecast was made by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Dubai Chamber) and made public on the first day of the 11th World Retail Congress, which began this Tuesday (4) in the emirate.

At the end of last year, the worth of the United Arab Emirates’ retail sector was estimated at USD 56.5 billion by research company Euromonitor International. If the forecast made by the Dubai Chamber is confirmed, the sector will have expanded its turnover in USD 14.4 billion in five years.

According to the analysis by the Dubai Chamber, last year the UAE shopping malls registered an increase of 5.8% in footfall, while the Dubai Shopping Festival, an annual event held by the emirate, increased by credit card business transactions 5%. During the festival, stores offer discounts and sales events.

Emaar Malls and Al Futtaim Properties, companies that manage the largest shopping malls in the UAE, registered a rise in the number of visitors in their ventures. Emaar’s shopping malls, which include the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest, welcomed 125 million visitors in 2016, one million more than the previous year. Al Futtaim’s shopping malls received 119 million people last year, against 112 million a year before.

Dubai added 250,000 square meters in new retail space, with the sector now holding 3.4 million square meters in total.

Until 2018, Dubai is expected to add other 717,000 square meters to retail, while Abu Dhabi should add 467,000 square meters to the sector.

For the Dubai Chamber’s CEO, Hamad Buamim, factors such as the constant influx of tourists, increasing income and the ability to attract retailers from around the world should drive up the sector’s growth in the emirate.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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