The Department of Economic Development (DED) and Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), jointly announced the 2019 Retail Calendar – strategically catered to provide active stimulus to resident and tourist consumer spend on shopping throughout the forthcoming year. Featuring even more city-wide events, activations and experiences throughout 2019, the calendar showcases 18 events over 247 days, versus 12 events over 178 days in 2018, greatly amplifying opportunities for retailer involvement across a broader and diversified range of product categories and brand segments. Additionally, aimed at prioritising wider and inclusive sector participation thereby extending the economic benefits of the initiative to a wider base, the 2019 Retail Calendar offers a reduction in fees for all small and medium enterprises to enable dynamic adaptation to the ongoing disruptions impacting retail, whilst retaining competitiveness in the global environment.
The Retail Calendar is reflective of strong and successful collaboration between both government departments (DED and DFRE), and the private sector, developed with significant input from 18 major retail and mall groups in Dubai, to create relevant activations that highlight the diversity and competitiveness of Dubai’s retail value proposition through a series of festivals and events suitably synchronised with the global and domestic retail and fashion cycles. The year-long Retail Calendar will assure Dubai’s continued international standing as a must-visit shopping destination, enabling growth of the AED 128.45 billion sector that is projected to grow a further 5.6 per cent from 2018, to reach AED 160.7 billion by 2021*. The 2019 initiative, now in its third year of operations, will play a particularly crucial role in (i) ensuring acceleration across Dubai’s retail economy; (ii) supporting greater SME contribution; and (iii) enabling boost profitability with an increase in spend from both residents and tourists, propelled by a tactical schedule of sales and promotional shopping campaigns.
As a key pillar in Dubai’s destination offering, the health and sustained development of Dubai’s retail sector has a consequential impact on tourist experience and attraction, in addition to the direct economic contribution of the sector itself. Considerable progress has been made since the inception of the Retail Calendar in 2016-2017 to deliver critically enabling regulations, core infrastructure projects, and city-wide service enhancements, fine-tuned to meet market and segment priorities across tourist points of interaction with destination retail. Through 2018, the number of international brands available in Dubai has continued to rise as has the portfolio of retail outlets and experience options, addressing a wider and more globally connected consumer, ultimately increasing the attractiveness of the emirate as a shopping destination.