With its vast futuristic shopping malls resembling small cities more than just retail destinations, Dubai has become one of the fastest-growing retail centers in the world. The industry is forecast to grow from an estimated $34.2 billion in 2013 to $50.09 billion by 2016, an increase of 47 percent.
The meteoric rise of retail has been driven by the emirate’s growing population of expatriates as well as locals with high disposable incomes; its safe-haven status in the often-volatile Middle East and, most significantly, a sustained tourism boom. According to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 10 million tourists visited the city last year, an increase of more than 9 percent from the previous year, and in the last eight years, visitors to Dubai have doubled, driving more consumers through the emirate’s glittering malls.
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