Retailers should aim for the UAE as Abu Dhabi's ambitious plans, including the Formula One Grand Prix development on Yas Island and museum projects on Sadiyaat, put the country among the top five emerging markets with the most retail potential, an international management consultancy says. The Emirates is the fourth most potentially lucrative markets in the world for retailers on AT Kearney's annual Global Retail Development Index, which ranks 30 emerging countries.
The UAE climbed 16 places this year, the highest jump by any country, thanks to its resilience during the economic downturn and Abu Dhabi's projects in the pipeline, such as Reem Island and the carbon-free Masdar City, which have major retail components. "These are all things that will attract retail around it," said Robert Ziegler, the vice president of AT Kearney in Dubai India leads the index, ahead of Russia, China, then the UAE. Saudi Arabia is fifth, up two places.