Things are coming together in Dubai's retail sector recovery. This year and next will deliver billions in retail spending lost out last year.
Dubai , Dubai
18 April 2021, 12:00 AM
30 April 2021, 12:00 AM
In the UAE retail sector, COVID-19 did initially send shock waves. Landlords and retailers alike were impacted by fluctuations in consumer footfall. Annual resident-based retail spending in the UAE is estimated to have declined by Dh8.2 billion in 2020.
However, Dubai retailers are now better prepared to navigate the roadblocks posed by COVID-19. More information, resources and best practices are in place to minimize disruptions.
Retailers have been able to recalibrate their offerings to be more omnichannel, using digital platforms to help retain and even grow their customer base.
The agility of the sector is evident in Dubai Chamber’s latest forecast that UAE retail sales are expected to reach $58 billion by the end of 2021, up approximately 13 per cent year-on-year. A strong vaccination programme coupled with mega-events like Expo Dubai will no doubt spark a resurgence in 2021 and leading into next year.
However, Dubai-based Centena Group Chairman and Managing Director, Sanjay Raghunath, is convinced that the future of retail business is going to be volatile and will go through constant change. "Malls provided intimacy of engagement with the customer. Covid has made a change to this mindset as technology is available today to provide similar intimacy across continents," Sanjay says, adding, "I suppose customers are going to look for more value for the money they pay. If that is available through e-commerce, they would switch."