How important is to establish a presence in Dubai travel retail market for brands?

Is it all just about money?

In other words, why bringing my 20 high quality Food & Beverage brands in Dubai market, before 2020 Expo, is one of my main goals?

As a retail and marketing specialist, I really love figures, especially when it comes to numbers able to give a serious boost to the brands I work with. So, let’s start with some statistics.

Emir Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktum governance made Dubai a very strategic leisure, shopping and business destination globally.

According to Hamad Buamim, president & CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the city has retained its position as the second most important international shopping destination globally for the fourth consecutive year, closely behind London.

So what about the travel retail market in Dubai? Does it confirm the extremely positive trends of the city?

In 2016, the number of passengers passing through Dubai Airports was 82.9 million.
Dubai Airports, the company that own and manage the operation of both city airports, forecasts 103.5 million passengers, coming from all over the world, in 2020.
This means that brands have a huge opportunity to increase their brand awareness globally just being present at Dubai airports.

Last available statistics (2014) reveal that Dubai airports drive 5.19% of global airport duty free business and almost 3% of the wider duty free and global travel retail business.
Dubai Duty Free (DDF), the company responsible for the duty-free operations at Dubai International Airport, is one of the biggest travel retail operator in the world with sales turnover of US$1.85 billion in 2016, making it the largest airport retailer globally. DDF has received over 550 awards, including the “Brand of the Year”, from the World Branding Awards in London. This means each brand in its portfolio can benefit from its brand awareness.

So, is it all just about money? Obviously not!

Retailers can count on high quality (huge) retail spaces and complementary services, provided by DDF.
In addition, customers in Dubai do not buy only local products.
Dubai welcomes brands from all over the world; 62.6% of brands in Dubai market are European; this is definitely a great news for all European companies planning to export their product in the UAE.
Customers in Dubai are willing to pay more than the average prices globally; what matters more for them is the quality of products (and, when it comes to F&B industry, Italians make it better!)

Nevertheless, this is not the most crucial reason to be present in this market.

Among the opportunities provided by Dubai for foreign retailers and brands, the most important is the role played by the city in the Middle East market:

Dubai is the main door to enter the regional market; it has to be considered as the most important product showcase in Middle East.

Waiting for Dubai EXPO 2020…


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