Retail Sector in UAE: Creating a Benchmark

The way the retail sector in the United Arab Emirates has emerged and transformed by continually upscaling itself is exemplary.

Once known for its oil reserves and dry fruits, the UAE has matured dramatically in the retail sector. It is not just the local retail houses but even many global retail giants who have tried their luck in the Arab Emirates and have been remarkably successful.

Petroleum and natural gas still contribute largely to the economy of the UAE, but it has diversified its businesses and subsequently its economy. This thirst to diversify and multiply its economy, particularly in the retail sector, has made the entire world look up to the Emirates. It has adapted to digital platforms quickly and competently recognising the need of the hour.

There are many favourable factors that have aided in the success of this diversification. One, the UAE has a robust economy that is always on the rise and some amount of negative growth hardly has a negative impact. It is for the same reason that the retail marked too is thriving and can afford a slight downslide as the market will not exactly face an adverse effect. Second, a stable government and healthy policies have contributed to a gigantic extent. Third, there are no trade unions. Add to these, an unparalleled infrastructure, efficient logistics and customs services, excellent tracking, and tracing systems.The UAE also has the advantage of a growing tourism industry.

With advancements in technology retailers in the UAE have embraced the new ways of conducting business to meet the demands of the consumers at local and global level. And technology has definitely proved to be most advantageous during these trying times of the pandemic. Technology percolated deep into the retail market of late with many brick and mortar retailers also shifting to the new market dynamics. E-commerce platforms are getting lot of attention by retailers in the UAE, and this will only surge with time.

The Emirates provides a huge range of choices with respect to brands. Franchisees to international brands have also made available a myriad of options for the consumer of today who settle for nothing below standards. International conglomerates coupled with local retail tycoons have been creating waves in the retail sector of UAE. Food retail has the largest share while the apparel, footwear, beauty and cosmetics are some of strongest retail products flourishing at exponential rates.

According to a study conducted couple of years ago, the UAE retail market was valued at $55 billion in 2019 and it is estimated to reach up to $75 billion by 2025.

As a mark of admiration for the success of UAE’s retail sector, we chose some companies that stand tall in this sector making its presence felt on the global map. We featured them in this special edition – UAE’sBest Retail Companies 2021.

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