Guest Blogger Michael Stoler: Active Retail Development Around the World, Especially in Dubai
Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is the home of one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, the Investment Corporation of Dubai with assets in excess of $70 billion. In May, Donald Trump announced plans to expand his golfing empire to the Middle East, opening a golf course in the outskirts of Dubai.
The Trump International Golf Club will be the centerpiece of a 28 million foot project being developed by DAMAC Properties that includes a luxury residential community, hotels, spa and international schools.
In August, Gulf Related will open The Galleria at Sowwah Square, a 50-50 joint venture between Gulf Related and Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development Company.
The Galleria will feature brands such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Prada, Gucci, Bulgari, Dior, Fendi, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Tag Heuer, Jimmy Choo and Diane von Furstenberg.
Its 25 food and beverage outlets will also include an Armani Cafe and licensed waterfront restaurants and cafes. Sowwah Central will be anchored by two international department stores, with both Gulf Related Al Maryah retail projects containing a combined total of over 500 retail, leisure, dining and entertainment options.
CBRE reported that Dubai is the second most important international retaildestination globally, following only London, with majority of the global brands establishing a presence in a United Arab Emirates city. The study also found that the Emirate ranks fourth among the world’s hottest retail markets, welcoming 25 new retailers in 2013.
More and more retailers are entering this market including the entrance in 2014 of Abercrombie & Fitch. Gulf News reported that ten major retailers opened outlets in the Emirate last year.
The top ten, which are arranged in no particular order, include:
The Cheesecake Factory: The U.S. based home of hundreds of low calorie cheesecakes entered the Dubai Mall last year, launching the world’s largest Cheesecake Factory restaurant this year with 526 seats in the Mall of the Emirates.
IHOP, International House of Pancakes: New York City has welcomed a number of IHOP’s over the past few years and the Dubai Mall welcome its first location in 2012. The company announced it plans to expand its footprint across the Middle East in the next three years.
Kate Spade New York: Joining the ranks of opening in the Dubai Mall was Kate Spade New York.
Lipsy London: The United Kingdom based youth fashion brand launched its first international own stores in Dubai last year, opening one outlet in the Mall of the Emirates and one in Midriff City Center. In partnership with the Landmark Group, the brand aims to expand across the GCC.
Franklin & Marshall: American-Italian fashion label Franklin & Marshall, in partnership with Kuwait based Multi Trend International, opened its first UAE store in Midriff City Centre and followed it up with another store in the Dubai Mall last year.
Philipp Plein: German fashion designer Philipp Plein opened its first boutique in the Dubai Mall last year.
Galvanni: The Italian fashion brand, which manufacturers apparel, shoes and accessories for men and women, opened its first shop at Dubai Marina Mall. The company plans to open six more stores in the Gulf before end of 2014.
M & Co: UK fashion retailer M & Co made its first international foray by opening at the Dubai Mall.
Gocco: Liwa Trading introduced Spanish kids fashion brand Gocco to the UAE market, launching its first store in Dubai Mall last year. The clothing brand, which caters to babies and children up to 12 years, has since opened up another stores in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.