The ongoing problems in certain parts of the Middle East and North Africa are benefiting retailers throughout Dubai, it seems. Many tourists have been put off from travelling to destinations like Egypt and Syria because of the political troubles in these places. This has worked out very well for business owners in the UAE, as the country continues to be a bastion of peace and stability. The Arab Spring has led to inflated tourist figures for Dubai and chief executive of mall owner Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Iyad Malas confirmed that footfall has increased dramatically in 2012. Speaking to Reuters, he suggested that Dubai retailers have seen their sales rise by ten per cent so far this year and their shops are being visited by 15 per cent more people than in 2011. "The Arab Spring has been positive for Dubai because a lot of Gulf-based people who used to go to Lebanon or Egypt have identified Dubai," he was quoted as saying. Mr Malas added that the economic problems in Europe are also forcing more wealthy people to take up permanent residence in the UAE, which is obviously great news for businesspeople in the area. "There is new interest coming out of Italy, Spain and some of the southern European countries," he continued, before adding that the demand for luxury goods has now recovered following a sharp decline in 2008 when the global economy took a turn for the worse. Tourists generally see shopping as a major tourist attraction in Dubai, whereas places like Egypt tend to attract more cultural travellers who want to see the pyramids. Dubai is full of high-end boutiques and more traditional marketplaces that give holidaymakers ample opportunity to spend their money. With the population growing all the time and a host of exciting new building developments continuing to spring up throughout the city, it is safe to say that the emirate has become more attractive to foreign investors than ever before.