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Shop till you drop.................

Shop till you drop.................

Old Oct 28th 2008, 7:35 am
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Default Shop till you drop.................

From an anonymous source.................

The nerve - and wallets - of Dubai's shoppers will be tested this week when, against a tide of global economic woe, the oil-rich region's largest shopping mall opens in this Persian Gulf boomtown.

As a global recession looms and falling retail sales and tightening credit crush high street sales elsewhere, this Arab sheikdom is forging ahead with plans to become a world leading shopping destination.

Lacking the huge oil reserves of neighbor Abu Dhabi, Dubai has worked hard to turn itself into the region's tourist, business and transport hub. Shopping is at the heart of this effort. But leading analysts are now questioning the logic of opening Dubai's latest gigantic shopping hub amid perhaps the worst global economic conditions in a generation.

"Now is the time for easing the foot off the accelerator for a while to allow the market to take stock until the outcome of the turmoil in the international banking and stock markets is more certain," says Simon Thomson, managing director of U.K.-based consultant Retail International.

With U.S. and U.K. consumer spending largely flat, retailers are increasingly looking to international ventures in the oil-rich Middle East to grow their business. But a sharp fall in oil prices and tumbling stock markets across the region could undermine their plans to tap the pockets of the region's cash-rich shoppers.

Investors in Gulf markets have lost more than $350 billion on stocks since the start of the year, close to their entire oil-export earnings over the period based on an average price of $100 a barrel, estimates by Zawya Dow Jones show. The global economic slowdown has shoppers and travelers nervous and with Dubai reliant on tourists to fill its 30-something malls, it too may be vulnerable to slowing global growth.

400 Sharks

Covering an area of more than 50 soccer fields, Dubai Mall will have more than 1,200 shops; one of the world's largest indoor gaming arcades; an Olympic-size ice rink; the world's largest indoor Gold Souk; and one of the world's biggest aquariums, which will be home to more than 33,000 types of sea life, including over 400 sharks.

The mall, due to open Friday, will also add to a lengthening list of high-profile international retail brands flocking to the region. France's Galeries Lafayette will open its first branch outside Europe, the U.K.'s Hamleys will open the world's largest toy store and upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose will open its first store outside the U.K.

Bloomingdale's, the American upscale department-store chain owned by Macy's Inc. (M), will open two stores at the Mall in 2010. Macy's Chief Executive Terry Lundgren says Dubai was chosen because it has emerged as "an international destination for tourism, sporting events and business."

"The reason these brands are coming here is simple," says Naeem Ghafoor, the
chief executive of Dubai-based Skyline Retail Services Consultancy. "They're simply not making enough money at home." Designer brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Ralph Lauren, as well as British high street names such as Marks & Spencer PLC (MAKSY), Debenhams PLC (DEB.LN) and Next PLC (NXT.LN) have long been firm favorites amongst Dubai shoppers. Department stores Saks Fifth Avenue, part of Saks Inc. (SKS), and the U.K.'s Harvey Nichols have also been present in the emirate for a number of years.

But those international retail brands wanting to come to the region have to represented by a local partner through franchise with the local franchisee providing the bulk of the equity. "There is very little down side risk on the brand principal's part - apart from reputation should it all go pear shaped," says Thomson.

No Slowdown

Currently worth approximately $100 billion, the Gulf region's retail sector is set to grow to $490 billion by 2010, according to Retail International. Retail spending in the U.A.E. alone is projected to reach $10.18 billion a year by 2010. Dubai, with some 1.3 million square meters of gross leasable area, or GLA, already complete and an equivalent amount already underway, is the region's leading shopping destination.

At 2007 population estimates, this is equal to 2.1 sq. mt. GLA per capita, a measure of retail space compared with the size of the local population, and 113% of the U.S. national average, Retail International says. In contrast, sales at U.S. chain stores rose by just 1% in September, making it the weakest sales growth of any September since 2001.

"The reasons for this growth lie with the basic demographic fundamentals of people and money," says Thomson. In a city where summer temperatures soar to more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit and eight-lane highways make it difficult for the city's pedestrians, Dubai's shopping malls provide a meeting place and a welcome respite from the midday heat.

As a result, malls are going to extraordinary lengths to bring in visitors. Shoppers at the Mall of the Emirates, currently Dubai's largest mall, can enjoy a session on the slopes at the indoor ski slope Ski Dubai, while visitors to Wafi Mall can step back in time at the 14th century-styled Khan Murjan souk. There are also dedicated shopping festivals -- Dubai Summer Surprises and Dubai Shopping Festival -- which bring in millions of visitors over four months of the year.

Despite such attractions, some analysts are warning that Gulf states run the risk of building too many malls, leading to an oversupply of retail space in the coming years, especially amidst slowing economies. They say the next 12 to 18 months will be a "testing" time for some of the major retail developments in the Gulf due to come on stream during this period.

"How well the Middle East could remain insulated from a major deterioration in the global economy is hard to tell, but reductions in international tourism and discretionary retail spending seem likely possibilities," says Thomson.

But Dubai isn't slowing down its retail plans. It is already building The Mall of Arabia with a GLA of 930,000 sq. mt., surpassing the South China Mall in Dongguan, China, as the world's largest shopping mall. Shoppers too are for the time being enjoying the experience. Consumer spending jumped 17.7% to 319.87 billion U.A.E. dirhams ($87.09 billion) last year -- more than double its level five years earlier, according to government figures.
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Old Oct 28th 2008, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: Shop till you drop.................

good luck getting in nd out of the place!
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Old Oct 28th 2008, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: Shop till you drop.................

Originally Posted by The Dean View Post
From an anonymous source.................

The nerve - and wallets - of Dubai's shoppers will be tested this week when, against a tide of global economic woe, the oil-rich region's largest shopping mall opens in this Persian Gulf boomtown.

As a global recession looms and falling retail sales and tightening credit crush high street sales elsewhere, this Arab sheikdom is forging ahead with plans to become a world leading shopping destination.

Lacking the huge oil reserves of neighbor Abu Dhabi, Dubai has worked hard to turn itself into the region's tourist, business and transport hub. Shopping is at the heart of this effort. But leading analysts are now questioning the logic of opening Dubai's latest gigantic shopping hub amid perhaps the worst global economic conditions in a generation.

"Now is the time for easing the foot off the accelerator for a while to allow the market to take stock until the outcome of the turmoil in the international banking and stock markets is more certain," says Simon Thomson, managing director of U.K.-based consultant Retail International.

With U.S. and U.K. consumer spending largely flat, retailers are increasingly looking to international ventures in the oil-rich Middle East to grow their business. But a sharp fall in oil prices and tumbling stock markets across the region could undermine their plans to tap the pockets of the region's cash-rich shoppers.

Investors in Gulf markets have lost more than $350 billion on stocks since the start of the year, close to their entire oil-export earnings over the period based on an average price of $100 a barrel, estimates by Zawya Dow Jones show. The global economic slowdown has shoppers and travelers nervous and with Dubai reliant on tourists to fill its 30-something malls, it too may be vulnerable to slowing global growth.

400 Sharks

Covering an area of more than 50 soccer fields, Dubai Mall will have more than 1,200 shops; one of the world's largest indoor gaming arcades; an Olympic-size ice rink; the world's largest indoor Gold Souk; and one of the world's biggest aquariums, which will be home to more than 33,000 types of sea life, including over 400 sharks.

The mall, due to open Friday, will also add to a lengthening list of high-profile international retail brands flocking to the region. France's Galeries Lafayette will open its first branch outside Europe, the U.K.'s Hamleys will open the world's largest toy store and upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose will open its first store outside the U.K.

Bloomingdale's, the American upscale department-store chain owned by Macy's Inc. (M), will open two stores at the Mall in 2010. Macy's Chief Executive Terry Lundgren says Dubai was chosen because it has emerged as "an international destination for tourism, sporting events and business."

"The reason these brands are coming here is simple," says Naeem Ghafoor, the
chief executive of Dubai-based Skyline Retail Services Consultancy. "They're simply not making enough money at home." Designer brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Ralph Lauren, as well as British high street names such as Marks & Spencer PLC (MAKSY), Debenhams PLC (DEB.LN) and Next PLC (NXT.LN) have long been firm favorites amongst Dubai shoppers. Department stores Saks Fifth Avenue, part of Saks Inc. (SKS), and the U.K.'s Harvey Nichols have also been present in the emirate for a number of years.

But those international retail brands wanting to come to the region have to represented by a local partner through franchise with the local franchisee providing the bulk of the equity. "There is very little down side risk on the brand principal's part - apart from reputation should it all go pear shaped," says Thomson.

No Slowdown

Currently worth approximately $100 billion, the Gulf region's retail sector is set to grow to $490 billion by 2010, according to Retail International. Retail spending in the U.A.E. alone is projected to reach $10.18 billion a year by 2010. Dubai, with some 1.3 million square meters of gross leasable area, or GLA, already complete and an equivalent amount already underway, is the region's leading shopping destination.

At 2007 population estimates, this is equal to 2.1 sq. mt. GLA per capita, a measure of retail space compared with the size of the local population, and 113% of the U.S. national average, Retail International says. In contrast, sales at U.S. chain stores rose by just 1% in September, making it the weakest sales growth of any September since 2001.

"The reasons for this growth lie with the basic demographic fundamentals of people and money," says Thomson. In a city where summer temperatures soar to more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit and eight-lane highways make it difficult for the city's pedestrians, Dubai's shopping malls provide a meeting place and a welcome respite from the midday heat.

As a result, malls are going to extraordinary lengths to bring in visitors. Shoppers at the Mall of the Emirates, currently Dubai's largest mall, can enjoy a session on the slopes at the indoor ski slope Ski Dubai, while visitors to Wafi Mall can step back in time at the 14th century-styled Khan Murjan souk. There are also dedicated shopping festivals -- Dubai Summer Surprises and Dubai Shopping Festival -- which bring in millions of visitors over four months of the year.

Despite such attractions, some analysts are warning that Gulf states run the risk of building too many malls, leading to an oversupply of retail space in the coming years, especially amidst slowing economies. They say the next 12 to 18 months will be a "testing" time for some of the major retail developments in the Gulf due to come on stream during this period.

"How well the Middle East could remain insulated from a major deterioration in the global economy is hard to tell, but reductions in international tourism and discretionary retail spending seem likely possibilities," says Thomson.

But Dubai isn't slowing down its retail plans. It is already building The Mall of Arabia with a GLA of 930,000 sq. mt., surpassing the South China Mall in Dongguan, China, as the world's largest shopping mall. Shoppers too are for the time being enjoying the experience. Consumer spending jumped 17.7% to 319.87 billion U.A.E. dirhams ($87.09 billion) last year -- more than double its level five years earlier, according to government figures.
This all very interesting, but the bottom line is do they sell shoes? And handbags............?
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Old Oct 29th 2008, 7:47 am
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Default Re: Shop till you drop.................

Originally Posted by Squirty Cream View Post
This all very interesting, but the bottom line is do they sell shoes? And handbags............?
Only you would ask that Squirty
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Old Oct 29th 2008, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: Shop till you drop.................

Originally Posted by Squirty Cream View Post
This all very interesting, but the bottom line is do they sell shoes? And handbags............?
and pick n mix?
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Old Oct 29th 2008, 8:40 pm
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Default Re: Shop till you drop.................

just went past there this evening - it's a mess, i can't believe it's meant to open in a few hours...let's see what happens...

MM, xx
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Old Oct 30th 2008, 5:38 am
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Default Re: Shop till you drop.................

Originally Posted by Madam Medusa View Post
just went past there this evening - it's a mess, i can't believe it's meant to open in a few hours...let's see what happens...

MM, xx
Surprise! Been delayed for a week as "the stores and facilities are not ready yet".

Now opening 4th November. Anyone taking bets?
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Old Oct 30th 2008, 6:04 am
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Default Re: Shop till you drop.................

Originally Posted by Roadking View Post
Surprise! Been delayed for a week as "the stores and facilities are not ready yet".

Now opening 4th November. Anyone taking bets?
apparently they don't have an phone connections, hence the delay
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Old Oct 30th 2008, 4:21 pm
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Default Re: Shop till you drop.................

Originally Posted by Roadking View Post
Surprise! Been delayed for a week as "the stores and facilities are not ready yet".

Now opening 4th November. Anyone taking bets?
I really feel sorry for the traders who have already acquired staff since August (The original opening date) and also brought in stock to sell...I'm sure more than 50% of the clothing and seasonal goods retail shops have already got into a sizeable amount of loss because of the lack of professionalism that the Mall developer has shown throughout this time...

Originally Posted by Blue Cat View Post
apparently they don't have an phone connections, hence the delay
Phone connections???
The causes of delay are complex and multiple...Was there just one week ago with a top-dog of one of the contractors and the man told me that it will be impossible to open before 8-10 Nov...
Anyway, I'm sure people working in the shops will have bought mobile phones, just in case...
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Old Oct 31st 2008, 10:26 am
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Default Re: Shop till you drop.................

we always knew it would be delayed, it's Dubai! the phone thing is more of a problem for people wanting to pay with credit cards.
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