Investment hits all-time high as tourism drives retail boom

December 01 , 2014

undefinedRetail investment in the GCC is at an all-time high and is forecast to continue as part of the region’s construction and investment boom, according to a new report.

With young populations, increased consumer confidence and high GDPs, the GCC has witnessed a continual growth in its retail sector, and this will continue thanks to government policy which focuses on investment in infrastructure and job opportunities for nationals alongside big projects like spurred on by upcoming events like the Dubai Expo in 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

 The new report Retail Investment in the GCC, prepared by Ventures Middle East says tourism remains the primary driver for retail growth, governments from Saudi Arabia to the UAE are developing this sector more than ever. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the Middle East witnessed close to 53 million visitors in 2013.

As an effect, leading brand and retailers from all over the world have taken notice and are now investing heavily in the sector while existing international brands continue to expand rapidly throughout the region, says the report.

 It also says e-commerce is an area which could undergo huge expansion: though online retailing remains slow to catch on in the Middle East, smart phone penetration is high which points to a high potential for growth in e-commerce within the next coming years.

 With demand remaining supportive, the retail development sector in the Gulf is growing healthily and is likely to continue its expansion at a rapid pace in the future, says the report.

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