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21 December, 2020

UAE’s retail market is forecast to grow by 0.4 per cent this year despite the pandemic

The UAE's retail market was valued at £41bn in 2019. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the country was witnessing rising per capita income, a growing tourism industry, and an increasing population of foreign workers

The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates, namely Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Umm Al-Quwain and Ajman, and each have their own rules and regulations. The UAE’s retail market was valued at $55 billion (£41 billion) in 2019, according to market reports site Report Linker. Despite the pandemic, UAE’s retail market is forecast to grow by 0.4 per cent this year, becoming the sixth best-performing market in 2020. Spend growth is also forecast to remain in positive territory, significantly helped by its short lockdown period of just two weeks, according to a report by GlobalData. Considering that lockdown restrictions for non-essential retailers were quickly lifted in the UAE, shopping centres have started to reopen with many introducing measures that could be used as a blueprint for other retailers in the world. “Although Covid-19 is set to wipe AED 13.5 billion (£2.7 billion) off the original 2020 forecast growth of 5.8 per cent in the UAE, its wealthy population and brief lockdown period will mean the market holds up better than many of its MENA neighbours, including Turkey and Israel,” GlobalData retail analyst Emily Salter said. 

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