A Complete Guide on Growing Retail Sector in Dubai

by Zaara 09, Nov 2021

Home to the world's largest mall, two major shopping festivals, traditional souks, and the world's highest per capita food and beverage business, Dubai is a paradise for shoppers. There is no better country in the region than in Dubai to move ahead on some retail therapy.

Over the past few years, the retail company in Dubai has witnessed an evolution as it has continued to establish itself as the dominant player in the global retail stage, demonstrating that it can promote growth, stimulate international brands, and meet changing market conditions. According to new analysis carried out by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, it will continue its will tend to thrive over the next five years, with a compound annual growth rate of 5.2 per cent over the period, supported by strong foreign visitor spending, robust demand driven by higher frequencies of mega-sales and shopping festivities, and growing e-commerce business.

Retail Sector in Dubai

Some of the largest retail markets, malls, grocery outlets, and shopping festivals in the world are situated in Dubai. In the retail industry of Dubai, there is no shortage of business opportunities; the city is the best place in the Middle East area to embark on any retail business therapy, making it a shopper's paradise worldwide.

Dubai is the only city after London that is considered to be the city for many top international brands with the most critical business opportunities. In its retail sector, the city has no shortage of global brands, including both high-end European brands for mainstream and local shopping outlets. In the area, there are over 100 malls, with each mall having a unique and attractive design and facilities. As the shopping industry in Dubai significantly contributes to the economy of the UAE, the malls serve a vast number of clients every day; business investors do exceptionally well in the country's retail market.

To attract maximum visitors from around the world, the two critical events that affect the retail industry in Dubai are hosted. The Dubai Shopping Festival, held in January and February, is a mega event that provides an extensive range of items with massive discounts and sales. In the retail sector, this massive occurrence leads to about 30 per cent of annual revenue. The Dubai Summer Surprises, which was launched after DSF's great success, is another major event that features the retail sector in Dubai. From June to August, the Dubai Summer Surprises fest is held for three months and is attended by world-renowned celebrities and artists to help promote the offers.

What Drives the Growth of the Retail Industry in Dubai?

The Emirates feeds incredibly well to those who want to pay high because shopping in Dubai is vital to the economy. In the retail sector, two crucial events draw tourists from all over the world. From January to February, the Dubai Shopping Festival is a monster sale with crazy inventions where raffle awards can include kilos of gold or luxury vehicles, street fairs, fireworks and cultural events in the background. During this DSF, about 30 per cent of yearly retail sales are made. The celebration is so famous that Dubai started its summer counterpart, Dubai Summer Surprises, from June to August, 18 years ago.

There is another major festival that hosts GITEX Shopper in Dubai, a bi-annual technology gathering, and gadget sales for the hundreds and thousands who settle at the World Trade Centre in Dubai eager to get the offers. Still, it is not just the retail sector that dominates the malls. The city has moved from the grandeur of malls to more distinctive, boutique-style locations based on local talent and brands over the past year.

Business Growth in Retail Industry in Dubai

Retail business in Dubai are abundant, and so is the number of merchandise trading firms. For starting a company in Dubai, there are a few criteria that a business person must adhere to. They are as follows;

1. Choose the Type of Company.

The variety of items you deal with in the store decides the kind of licence you need. In the Department of Economic Development, there are more than 2000 activities listed, and you need to choose what suits your company best.

2. Take help from the local Sponsor

If you are establishing a retail shop in Dubai, then you must have a local sponsor who will have a 51 per cent stake in your company. If you are forming a company in the free zone, this law does not apply.

3. Get a Commercial License

It is time to apply for a Commercial License now that you have selected the business operation. You must register your firm with the Registrar of the Company before this move. Documents required to be submitted for licencing to the DED Dubai and the UAE Federal Ministry of Economy are as follows.

  • An application is written in both English and Arabic with a company name.
  • Rental contract with your registered office address (original)
  • A permit provided by the Building Department of the Municipality of Dubai to clear up the use of storage space as a business address for the retail store
  • Evidence of licence payment and fees

Upload and get your licence with these documents. If you get a claim, you can open your business officially. There are a range of permits you need to take from Dubai Municipality and other concerned departments if you want a shop for sale.

Key Snapshots

After your retail business is set up in Dubai, there are a few items which need to be completed. These are;

  • In short, good inventory management is possible without having excess goods on hand or having fewer products.
  • To draw customers by providing substantial discounts, deals, gifts, etc.
  • Hiring friendly workers whose key focus should go above and beyond customer satisfaction
  • Build a clean atmosphere for your clients so that they keep coming back

Future Aspirations in the Retail Sector

For the six-month event span, the Dubai Expo 2020 will not only impact the country's businesses and industries but will bring a new wave of social growth to the country for the next decade. For the next 10-15 years, companies in Dubai are also expected to seek income from the Expo. This event would even go beyond a nationwide display of the most revolutionary innovations and futuristic inventions.

Future of Retail Sector in Dubai

Since Dubai is known as the Middle East's shopping capital, it is highly anticipated that the retail industry will continue to boom its way towards the Dubai Economy's number one driver betting. It is not difficult to picture how the retail sector would look with Expo 2020 approaches. According to the survey conducted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, the retail industry is showing 8 per cent annual growth by 2020.

How can Commitbiz help you?

For any businessman, starting up a company would always prove a fruitful decision. The desert land has a lot to give to upcoming companies in its area and always welcomes to its territories new businesses with open arms.

Commitbiz is a business advisory company that aims to provide potential investors with other business-related assistance. With all business-related questions and details, our team of experts is always keen to support business enthusiasts. The numbers don't sound exciting to you? If you are interested in starting a Dubai retail store, then we will help you with it at Commitbiz. The legal formalities are well-versed by our competent advisors and can make this procedure hassle-free. Contact us today.


What are the expected sales in the retail sector in Dubai?

$70.5 billion by 2025.

How much area does the retail sector cover in Dubai?

110,000 square meters of retail gross leasable space completed in 2020.

What is the position of Dubai in retail spending?

UAE ranked 14th in the global index of retail spending.

What is the expected growth rate in the retail sector in Dubai?

11.88% by 2025.

How many customers do the Dubai malls attract?

2.4 million customers in 2021.