Dubai – MENA Herald: Adding another feather to its cap of achievements as an international business and retail destination, Dubai has won the bid to host the 10th World Retail Congress 2016 in the emirate. The announcement came during the concluding day of the 9th Congress in Rome where Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry-led trade mission participated.

As part of its strategy to promote Dubai’s business attractiveness to international investors, the Dubai delegation was led by H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, and included H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, as well as a number of leading retailers and officials from the emirate.

H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, said: “This achievement is the culmination of the wise vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, which is clearly directed towards bringing economic progress and prosperity to Dubai as the emirate is time and again proving that it has no parallel when it comes to hosting major global events,” he said.

“The opportunity to host this global event will also promote Dubai’s status as a global hub for major events, conferences and exhibitions, which also complements Dubai Chamber’s commitment to bringing high profile global events to the emirate to promote its vibrant investment environment to leading international investors,” said H.E. Al Ghurair

H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, added: “It is a privilege for Dubai to host the World Retail Congress for the first time in the region. Winning this bid from the World Retail Congress is the fruit of the Chamber’s efforts to consolidate Dubai’s profile globally as a renowned global retail destination and provide a substantial boost for the MICE industry across the Middle East region as a whole.

“We are confident Dubai will add value to the Congress as this landmark event is the biggest convention of the retail industry’s leading professionals and will help enhance the competitiveness and potential of Dubai retailers,” he said.

He further stressed that the retail sector is a key pillar of Dubai’s economy, contributing about 29% to the emirate’s GDP as the expected volume of retail trade was around AED 86 billion in 2014, with expected growth rise of 5.9% during the current year while expecting to maintain the same growth rate for the sector at compound annual growth rate of 6.1% until 2019, indicating positive outlook for the sector’s growth in the medium to long term.

The President and CEO of Dubai Chamber informed that there are many factors that help in the growth of the retail sector in Dubai including the growing economic prosperity, steady population growth, rising salaries leading to high consumer spending, cultural diversity, tourism growth, continuation of infrastructure development projects, and the establishment of more commercial centres which are supporting the retail sector development.

Dubai retail sector is characterised by the presence of a large segment of young consumers who keep up to date with the latest trends in many retail product categories such as apparel, footwear, health and beauty as well as luxury products. This has encouraged retailers to introduce new products and expand their physical presence in recent years which has helped enhance the growth of the sector.

According to a recent Dubai Chamber report, apparel and footwear retail outlets are expected to lead the growth in the retail sector in the medium run and will achieve compound annual growth rate of 6.8% until 2019, while the expectations for the electronics and appliance, health and beauty, home and garden products expect a compound annual growth rate of 3-6% during the same period.

Highlighting internet retailing as a leading non-store retail channel in terms of growth, the reports says that this makes up less than 2% of total retail sales value, a relatively low figure compared to other global markets.

Since its inception in 2007, the World Retail Congress has taken place in major European cities including Barcelona, Berlin, London, Paris and Rome. It is attended by thousands of senior retail leaders and industry experts from a large number of countries including the UAE.

The Dubai Chamber delegation, included H.E. Juma Mohammad Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Economy, H.E. Majid Al Shamsi, Chairman, Union Coop, Adel Al Zarouni, Managing Director, Rivoli Group LLC, Ahmed Galal Ismail, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Ventures, Khalid Al Falasi, General Manager, Union Coop, Mohi-Din BinHendi, Chairman, BinHendi Enterprises, and Vino El Khatib, Chief Marketing & Brand Officer, Majid Al Futtaim Holding.