According to published figures, the size of Dubai’s retail market is expected to expand by 7.7 per cent in 2016, with sales turnover expected to surpass $52 billion in 2020. Keeping up with its strength, this year it has released a brand new yearly calendar to draw more traffic from targeted international destinations.
In the creation of this ‘first-of-its kind’ initiative, the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) agency of the DTCM and the Department of Economic Development (DED) have worked integrally with the city’s major retail groups, brands, and mall operators to define the type of events, timings, and durations, aligning with the global retail and fashion cycles, as well as evaluating the largest retail spend drivers across best-in-class global shopping destinations. Stemming from a thorough assessment across sector-related criteria and an exhaustive competitive benchmarking, this Retail Calendar reflects a well-considered three-pronged approach to combining regional market buying cycles and preferences, and nuanced needs of tourists from specific markets with the seasonality of the global retail supply chain.
“Retailing remains the dominant economic activity in Dubai with a share of up to 30 per cent in the emirate’s GDP and the sector will play a key role in Dubai achieving its tourism vision of receiving 20 million tourists a year by 2020. It’s important to consolidate efforts across Dubai to offer exceptional and high quality shopping experiences in terms of infrastructure, initiatives and incentives. Along with implementing varied initiatives to enhance ease of doing business and make shopping in Dubai a pleasant experience, the Department of Economic Development has been working closely with public and private sector entities to evolve innovative strategies that would reinforce Dubai as a preferred place to shop for visitors and residents alike.”
H.E. Sami Al Qamzi, Director General, Department of Economic Development (DED)
“Dubai has been continuously growing its standing as a leader in global travel, ranked number four today with the highest average spend per tourist within the economy compared to any other city in the world. Beyond growing tourist volumes, one of the mandates of Dubai Tourism is to significantly enhance the economic value created across all travel related industries to our GDP. Retail is one of the core pillars of our destination proposition, and one that is a key driver of spend within the economy — hence the incredible support from the Department of Economic Development has been paramount to the success of this project. In undertaking this exercise, our aim was to work with the industry towards making Dubai the world’s leading destination for retail tourism, attracting more traffic and fueling consumption across the shopping precincts, and ultimately accelerating domestic retail industry growth. It has been through exemplary collaboration and joint ownership between the private and public sector that DTCM has been able to deploy a comprehensive list of initiatives to be taken forth to implementation by relevant stakeholders. And today, we are pleased to announce one of the most strategic components — the annual Retail Calendar for Dubai.”
H.E. Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM)
“As the government entity that sets the strategic direction for economic policy in Dubai, the DED is happy to partner with DFRE in ensuring the success of this new retail initiative. The retail sector is one of the crucial engines of Dubai’s rapid economic growth, and continues to be driven by the visionary leadership of Dubai to position the emirate as a unique retail hub, an achievement that would not have been possible without the strong collaboration between government entities and the private sector. We are confident that the Dubai Retail Calendar will further invigorate the emirate’s retail sector by paving the way for more global brands to capitalise on Dubai’s potential to offer unique shopping experiences at any time of the year.”
Omar Bushahab, CEO-Registration & Licensing Sector, Department Of Economic Development
“With tourism and retail industries being key pillars of Dubai’s economy, the Dubai Retail Calendar initiative combines the strategic objectives of both, driving retail growth domestically, and enhancing the value of Dubai’s shopping experience for tourists. With this calendar of very strong festivals, events and promotions, we expect to incentivise overseas visitors to consciously plan trips to Dubai around these periods. And for our residents, as well as regional market travellers, this is a critical step towards creating a year-round range of rewarding shopping and family experiences to incentivise more frequent visits to retail districts and greater spends. Today, Dubai is unrivalled in the region in terms of our retail offering and ranked only second to London in terms of representation of international brands. Our success is thanks to the unique model of public-private partnership that has yet again been instrumental in the development of this flagship programme for Dubai, and will flourish even further under Dubai Retail Calendar. ”
Saeed Mohammad Mesam Al Falasi, Executive Director, Retail and Strategic Alliances, DFRE