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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 09/12/2013
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Total sales are expected to increase at 5.7 per cent annually over the period 2013-2017,

Future of retail sector is bright in Dubai as visitor purchases in the Emirate is expected to reach Dh33 billion in the next four years.This was revealed by Sami Al Qamzi, director general of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in his address at the Future Retail conference in Dubai on Sunday.

Total sales are expected to increase at 5.7 per cent annually over the period 2013-2017, Al Qamzi said, adding that retail purchases by visitors are expected to increase at a higher pace than for the resident population with visitor purchases set to reach almost Dh33 billion by 2017, accounting for more than a quarter of total sales.

Speakers at the Future Retail conference lauded the initiatives taken by Dubai to boost the retail sector and urged business leaders and managers to take advantage of modern technology and communication tools to tap into the vast potential that existed in the retail sector.

The 2-day forum is being held under the patronage of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and is supported by the Department of Economic Development.

Future Retail, which focuses on four central themesBusiness Models, Location and Traffic, the Customer Experience, and Marketing and Retention-highlights the latest trends and technology advancements of the MENA retail sector and has attracted speakers and participants from diverse fields including shopping malls, e-commerce, social media and digital platforms.

Based on various sources and DED's own estimates, Al Qamzi said that Dubai's retail sales in 2012 would be around Dh100 billion, and that a conservative estimate for the years up to 2017 would be 4.5 per cent GDP growth per annum, with retail growth and population growth seen at about the same rate.

Highlighting the fact that more than 5.5 million tourists visited Dubai in the first half of 2013, a 11.1 per cent year-on-year increase, he said that Dubai was well on course to achieving its Tourism Vision for 2020 of attracting 20 million tourists and 300 billion dirhams in tourism revenues annually, of which a major share would come from retail sales.

"Hosting Expo 2020 is expected to accelerate tourist inflows further, which in turn will bolster retailing in Dubai. Preliminary assessments say that Expo 2020 could boost tourist arrivals to 25 million. The contribution of foreign visitors to retail is estimated at nearly 20 percent which is a strong indication of the importance of international tourism for Dubai's retail".

Laila Suhail, chief executive officer of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and one of the headline speakers at Future Retail, said that the conference came at an exciting time for Dubai and its retail sector as the city's successful bid to host Expo 2020 will give a significant boost to the retail and Dubai's ambition to become the world's number one retail hub. The city is currently ranked 2nd in the world in terms of global brands attraction after London.

During her speech titled "Diversifying Business Growth in Retail", Laila Suhail focused on the rapid growth and development of Dubai, the crucial role played by the retail sector in this regard and the longstanding support of the private sector that has contributed immensely towards making Dubai an international retail hub of excellence.


Khaleej Times

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