Smart Stores Expo
The retail sector in the country is growing fast and smart. The Retail Operations Index by the construction consultancy Arcadis found that the UAE was the eighth-most popular global location among international retailers- the highest in the Middle East. Dubai might be the world’s most visited retail destination but it’s not the only GCC city investing in the retail industry: in Abu Dhabi, 8 new mega shopping centers are to be constructed over the next three years; in Doha, a QAR 1.65 billion contract was awarded in 2014 for the construction of the mega Doha Festival City development; and in Jeddah, Al Futtaim Group will partner with Kayannat Real Estate Company to build and operate the SAR 6 billion Mall of Arabia.
There has also been a surge of high-end retail malls that has also attracted the retailer and this makes the region one of the most lucrative markets for foreign investors. With retail sales expected to reach US$ 284.5 billion by 2018, the need to meet the growing demand for consumer goods has led to a boom in planned shopping mall developments in the Middle East.
And it’s not just malls. The Euromonitor International report has valued the UAE grocery retail market at $9.5 billion in the country. In 2015 the market size for hypermarkets alone was estimated to be at Dh 32 billion, and is expected to grow by 5 per cent [a year] from 2015 to 2020. More independent boutiques, supermarkets, convenient stores, departmental store are now converting themselves into ‘smart’ stores which are packaged with better designs, software advancements, equipment, fit outs, fixtures, etc. to cater to the technologically-driven customer.
The online retail world too has seen a huge potential. With most businesses wanting to have their presence in the virtual world, businesses are gaining maximum by using ‘smart’ resources. ‘Smart Stores Expo 2017’ will provide a perfect platform for not only the growing market in the region but also the expanding online retail industry.
Adnec, Abu Dhabi, UAE