Emerging Markets Look for Mid East Retail Therapy (UAE)

More than 3,500 retail professionals participated in Retail City 2007, the three-day industry showcase for investment and development of retail real estate, which concluded recently at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.

A significant development at this year's show was the amount of international trade visitors from emerging markets in Asia and Eastern Europe. Commenting, Retail City Project Manager, Naomi Koningen remarked, "We have been pleased with the response to the exhibition, especially the level of interest shown by retail professionals from India, Thailand, China, Russia and Turkey. They are all keen to exhibit at next year's event, clearly demonstrating the tremendous appeal of the Middle East retail sector."

Throughout the Middle East the retail sector is currently valued at US$ 100 billion and ranks second only to residential property in the non-oil economy. Opening the event, HE Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Head of Dubai Ports World, said, "The retail sector is vital to the growth of Dubai and we will continue to support events such as Retail City."

One of the notable features on the Retail City Conference agenda, was acclaimed international author of 'The Starbuck's Experience' Dr. Joseph Michelli, who shared his insight into the success of the largest chain of coffee shops in the world
During his presentation, entitled, 'The Ultimate Customer Experience', Dr. Michelli conveyed the five distinct principles that, if implemented, can transform a company or an individual from the inside out. It's difficult to argue with the tenets of an organisation that already has 11,000 outlets in 37 countries and pours coffee from a new site every four hours.
"The Starbucks Experience reflects principles that are simple, yet not simplistic. They are results-oriented and can be deceptively powerful when applied," stated Dr. Michelli.
Another highlight of the industry showcase was the Retail City Awards which attracted over 200 of the region's retailing elite, at The Fairmont Hotel in Dubai. The awards were designed to honour innovative retailers, with the Boulevard at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai taking the top accolade as` Mall of the Year 2007.

The international panel of judges selected the mall for the award for its tenant mix within a mixed-use development, location, supporting services, customer relations, marketing and sales.

Other award winners on the night included Most Innovative Retailer of the Year which went to The One. Indeed it proved to be a successful night for UAE-based home furnishing and lifestyle retailer, who also scooped top prize in the Best Corporate Social Responsibility of the Year category. Caroline Herrera won New Retailer of the Year and M.H. Al Shaya was recognised as Franchise Operator of the Year.

Speaking at the packed awards ceremony, Koningen said, "Even by global standards the Middle East retail industry is fiercely competitive having developed exponentially over the past five years. These awards present architects, developers and retailers, with a golden opportunity to showcase their talent, where it matters, in front of their industry peers."

Source: Shamal Marketing Communications

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