Hot links: The week in Middle East retail property news

Publish Date: October 19, 2016

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Here's what local news sources are reporting about retail property in the Middle East:

• UAE retailers are the likeliest among GCC markets to see sales decline due to the weakened British pound. “Within the GCC, we expect the UAE to see the greatest impact of the sharply weaker outlook for the British pound and the euro," said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. "The UAE has been the most affected by the recent strengthening in the US dollar given its greater diversification." Gulf News

• Spun Candy founder James Ellender is expanding his British experiential confectionery concept Spun Candy in the UK and abroad. The entrepreneur has built an international empire, including successful shops in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Hong Kong. Confectionary News

• Saudi discount chain Dukan is an increasingly popular destination for middle-class consumers. The retailer, which sells a smaller range of products at lower prices and in smaller stores than its rivals, operates 150 stores in Jeddah and Makkah and plans to open another 50 this year. Saudi Gazette

• As Dubai consumer lifestyles become increasingly mobile and fast-paced, shoppers are buying more electronic gadgets. Dubai's consumer electronics market will grow by 4.7 per cent over the next four years and will likely pass Dh11 billion ($3 billion) by 2020, reports the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Gulf News

• Mumbai-based retailer Bombay Shirt Co., which operates stores in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi, is opening its first store outside of India, in Dubai. The company sends tailors to custom-measure clients for bespoke shirts. Live Mint

• Amsterdam-based travel retail electronics and lifestyle company Capi Global is expanding around the world, and will open a store at the new Muscat Airport. Gulf News

• Saudi banks' exposure to the building and construction sector increased by 19.7 per cent year-on-year as of June 2016, a situation that leaves many of them vulnerable to a possible increase in the sector's number of nonperforming loans, according to credit rating agency Moody'sMoody's Investor Service

• New food-and-beverage operators in the Middle East are focusing on niche markets with high-end sandwiches and burgers, leaving the value market wide open for McDonald's, according to Rafic Fakih, managing director of Emirates Fast Food Co., which operates the McDonald’s store portfolio in the UAE. "What we offer on the menu works for everybody — the family, the young as well as the millennial.” Gulf News


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