Posted by Neil King
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is currently offering the most exciting growth opportunities to international retailers, a new study has found.
Eight countries in the MENA region were ranked among the top 21 nations in the latest annual Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) by the management consultancy firm AT Kearney, with most of the countries improving their ratings since last year's index.
The UAE came seventh in the GRDI, while Saudi Arabia was fourth and Kuwait second.
AT Kearney noted that rising retail sales in the MENA region are being driven by higher disposable incomes, urban population growth, a strengthening middle class and infrastructure investments.
"The UAE has been a hot spot for several years and is now entering the next level of maturity," commented Dan Starta, partner and managing director at AT Kearney Middle East. "Retailers are looking to build on their stronghold in the UAE to diversify their portfolio across the region and will continue to actively invest in the attractive markets of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait."
Last week, Dubai Summer Surprises, a seven-week shopping and tourism extravaganza, got underway.