How UAE tourism is impacting its F&B and retail industry

August 21, 2019

Due to the best places to visit in Dubai, the growth of tourism in the United Arab Emirates is continuous and it is playing a major role in contributing towards economic benefits across all Emirates. The increasing number of international visitors, around 8.7% increase p.a., has had a major positive economic impact in development across sectors, most especially its F&B and retail industry.

Tourism and F&B Industry in the UAE

The UAE continues to lead the Food & Beverage industry in the Middle East region, due to a growing number of tourists each year. The sector’s growth is further supported by the entry of new international and regional brands.

According to research, Quick-Service Restaurants (QSRs) were more popular in 2018 due to value-seeking customers. For premium dining outlets, relatively steady patronage for certain popular brands and concepts continued. In line with this, the addition of several new Dubai shopping malls, hotels and neighborhood expansions offers local restaurant operators the opportunity to enter new markets or explore franchise opportunities.

At the same time, with the introduction of value-added tax across the country, most F&B operators, like other retail businesses, continued to focus their attention on pricing strategy. Within the F&B industry, changes were primarily addressed through repricing and other price/value related strategies, such as combo offers and menu refreshes.

Tourism and Retail Industry in the UAE

The UAE ranked as the seventh most popular destination of choice for expansion among international retailers, with many preferring Dubai as an entry point into the region. The UAE has the strongest retail tourism sector in the region and Dubai takes the lead among the seven emirates – with retail accounting for more than 40% of total tourism spending.

The foundation of Dubai’s tourism market, the retail industry remains central to the country’s growth strategy. According to research, Dubai’s strength has been underlined over recent years with the introduction of retail events throughout the year, including Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises, wherein most of the shopping malls in the country, including Mercato Mall, participates.

Not only that the country is seeing more mega-retail developments with onsite hospitality facilities, but they are also seeing more and more attraction included into these shopping malls, adding excitement in this sector. The retail industry in the country is incredibly innovative. The development of shopping malls into leisure and entertainment destinations has brought huge value to the tourism industry. So, if you are thinking of what to do in Dubai, there is surely something for you out there.