Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Ali Cheaito of Valencia says they are now looking for more direct retail selling opportunities in the capital. Satish Kumar / The National
Ali Cheaito of Valencia says they are now looking for more direct retail selling opportunities in the capital. Satish Kumar / The National

Shoe retailer puts its best foot forward

The Life: Valencia, a multi-brand shoe shop, has been operating in the UAE for 23 years. It has nine stores in Dubai, but just one in Abu Dhabi. Ali Cheaito, Retail Operations Manager of Valencia explains why the chain has been slow to expand in the capital. 

Valencia is a shoe retailer that sells designer labels such as Missoni and manages franchises of Giuseppe Zanotti, Casadei, Fabi and Loriblu. It has been operating in the UAE for 23 years, but while it boasts nine stores in Dubai, it has just one in Abu Dhabi. Ali Cheaito, the retail operations manager of Valencia, explains why the chain has been slow to expand in the capital.


q Did you notice a downturn in sales during the last financial crisis?

a Yes, everybody felt that. We can't say "no", but if you compare the drop that we had to Europe I believe we're still very healthy.

q Are you back to your pre-2008 sales now?

a Not yet but this year we have had good growth and 2010 was good for us. [This year], I think we are better than 2010.

q Valencia is a homegrown brand. Where was its first retail store located within the UAE?

a We started with one store in Sharjah. It was on Al Wahda Street. In 1995 we moved to Deira City Centre. It was a good step. When we moved to Dubai into the mall we started to go for higher-end brands, not like in Sharjah, where we had mid-range brands.

q You now have 10 stores in the UAE. Do you have plans to open any more?

a [In Dubai] we are in all of the malls. In Abu Dhabi we only have one store, in Marina Mall, so we are planning to invest in Abu Dhabi. We are planning between six to eight shops for Valencia and other brands.

q Why has it taken you so long to expand in the capital?

a We were selling as a wholesaler to people in Abu Dhabi [at first], so we didn't want to affect [that] business. Then the management decided to [start selling directly in its own shops]. I believe by next year we will have a lot of tourists in Abu Dhabi visiting Ferrari World, Yas Island and [Yas Mall]. Plus the population in Abu Dhabi has money to spend.

q Where are you aiming to locate new stores in the capital?

a We have already booked four stores [in Yas Mall]. All the international brands will be there. A Giuseppe Zanotti store will open in Etihad Mall by January and we are looking for one more store in Marina Mall.

q When you buy for the UAE market do you have to keep anything in mind?

a Here we have a lot of nationalities. What we consider is [the style]: the model; the colour; the heel. We do not say this is for Lebanese, or this is for local or this is for English. When you are working with high-end brands, they monitor fashions all over the world. The period of November to February we have a lot of tourists from Europe, so we normally buy a lot of boots. In the summer it is sandals with some closed shoes.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Would you like it in blue? An Afghan shopkeeper shows a burqa to a customer at a bazaar in Herat. (Aref Karimi / AFP /  April 13, 2014)

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 24, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 24, 2014.

 That's asking a lot: this four-bedroom duplex penthouse apartment  at Marina Residence in Dubai is for sale with an asking price of Dh15.7 million. (Courtesy Better Homes / April 2014)

In pictures: Palm Jumeirah penthouse listed for Dh15.7 million

A four-bedroom duplex penthouse in Marina Residence 3 on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah is on the market for Dh15.7 million.

 Room with a view from one of the 21 duplex penthouses located in the Gate Towers sky-bridge. The sports courts and swimming pools can be seen below. Courtesy Alda

In pictures: Aldar’s Gate Towers Penthouse Collection on Reem Island

Aldar launched its Gate Towers Penthouse Collection at Cityscape Abu Dhabi. The launch features 21 penthouses spanning the skybridge, with each having a private indoor pool and incredible views.

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National