The Food and Drink (F&D/F&B) retail structure in the GCC has gone through major transformations in recent years. These changes came about as a result of economic and social developments taking place in the wider MENA region. The UAE was one of the earliest adopters of modern retail formats, and, as a result, the larger hypermarket and supermarket model is more mature in the UAE when compared to regional counterparts.
The three key growth drivers of the F&D retail sector in the UAE are its growing consumer base, high investment levels (in the shape of mega malls and attractions), and a steady tourist base.
Compared to non-food retail sales, food retail sales growth is forecast to increase rapidly. Between 2013 and 2018, food retail sales are anticipated to grow at a 7.7% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate), while non-food retail sales are expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.1%. Although non-food sales are likely to continue to account for the majority of retail sales in the GCC region, the share of food sales is expected to increase marginally from 45.6% in 2013 to 46.3% in 2018 with the segment size expanding from US$ 91.2 billion to US$ 131.8 billion.
Dubai has for many years positioned itself as the desert attraction and has become known regionally for shopping and dining, however beyond fine dining there are new communities being developed, all of which require malls and shops – some of which have been referenced in this blog.
More information about the sector can be found within The GCC Retail Industry Report by Alpen Capital