Dubai Remains Mideast Luxury Capital

Despite its financial troubles, Dubai continues to be noted as the capital of luxury in the Middle East. After a turbulent 2009 retailers are finally beginning to recover and Dubai, known for its opulent hotels, fancy shopping malls, restaurants and nightclubs remains resilient and still, the Mideast haven for luxury.

Dubai’s retailer sector generates a third of the city’s gross domestic product. The financial crisis came down hard on the Emirate with diminishing consumer spending and fewer tourists.

But this all seems to be changing in 2010. “We are going to see an excess of luxury retailers and brands come in. The UAE (United Arab Emirates) still brings in the majority of the numbers,” said Ramesh Prabhakar, managing partner at Dubai’s Rivoli Group in a recent interview with Reuters. One of the largest retailers of luxury brands in the region, Rivoli owns 300 brands in the lower Gulf area including esteemed names such as Omega, Tag Heuer Tissot, and Hugo Boss.

A recent survey conducted by CB Richard Ellis ranked Dubai as the second most international retail market attracting 58 percent of retailers after London which attracts 54 percent. New York and Paris followed in third and fourth place.

For well-established brands such as Cerrutti and Valentino, Middle East sales are crucial for the company’s development. Cerrutti generates 5-10 percent of total sales from the Middle East.

So although Dubai has been hit hard and many a Dubian have surely felt the lows, what the statistics show is that 2010 will be a year of change. The arrival of Christian Louboutin, Elisabetta Gucci, as well as Elie Saab among other developments signals that Dubai, has remained not only the capital for luxury in the Middle East, but a world premiere destination for luxury retailers and an ultimate hot spot for haute living.