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Apparel tops Dubai’s retail, trend to continue till 2021

Dubai’s apparel and footwear market accounts for the largest share of the Emirate’s retail sector. Apparel leads the category with a 73 per cent market share, followed by footwear (18 per cent) and sportswear (nine per cent). This trend is expected to continue through 2021, leading the category to achieve a projected compound annual growth rate of 3.4 per cent in the medium term.

Demand within this segment was supported last year by value offerings from retailers, particularly during shopping festivals and sales events. Easing of UAE visa regulations to some countries is expected to drive tourism, which will likely have a positive impact on Dubai's retail market as the emirate prepares to attract up to 20 million tourists annually by 2020.

This trend will result in a change in the demographic and characteristics of visitors. So retailers in the Emirate will need to adjust and expand their offerings to cater to diverse consumer groups.

Dubai’s global air connectivity and its growing stature as a hub for trade between the East and West, has clearly given an added impetus to the retail sector. Dubai continues to remain the clear destination of choice for the majority of the brands looking to enter the region for the first time, frequently using the emirate as a stepping stone to wider regional expansion programs.