Ikea sales in the capital have jumped by more than a fifth as customers flocked to the Swedish furniture retailer's Yas Island store during its first full year of operations.
John Kersten, the managing director for Ikea's regional operations, said sales at the store, which opened in March last year, had increased by more than 20 per cent in the year to June.
Al Futtaim, the company that operates the Ikea franchise in the UAE, said it expected sales at the Abu Dhabi store to grow again next year by 15 to 20 per cent.
Sales at Ikea's other UAE store, located in Dubai's Festival City, grew by about 10 per cent over the same period and were expected to grow by another 10 per cent the following year.
The company's Dubai store was now ranked its 14th highest-selling in the world, from a total of 332 stores globally.
"The Middle East market is very important to Ikea," said Mr Kersten. "We are seeing the Middle East market continue to grow strongly at a time when other markets are not seeing such strong growth."
Ikea is hoping to open a second store in Dubai, widely rumoured to be located at the Ibn Battuta Mall on the Sheikh Zayed Road.
Mr Kersten said the company was looking at seven to nine possible locations for the store but was not in negotiations over any site at present.
The company is also pressing ahead with plans to open new stores in the wider region. A 30,900 square metre outlet is set to open in Doha, in the first quarter of next year, while a 35,000 sq metre store is due to open in Cairo, in the second half of next year. However, the company said despite rumours to the contrary it had no immediate plans to open in Lebanon.
Last year, 6.1 million visitors flocked to Ikea's two UAE stores, the company said, equating to 17,000 visitors per day. They bought 50,000 beds, 80,000 glasses and 120,000 soft toys.
The news came as Ikea prepared to deliver 730,000 new catalogues to homes across the UAE to coincide with the new school year, focusing on the retailer's textiles range.
Ikea said it was printing 1 million copies of the new catalogue for the coming season for distribution in the UAE - an increase of about 13 per cent on the number printed for the country the previous year.
In total this autumn, Ikea will print 212 million copies of its catalogue for distribution around the world.
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