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UAE shopping industry ahead of regional peers by 10 years

A regional shopping industry expert has said that the shopping industry in the UAE is ahead of its regional peers by more than 10 years, in terms of experience, maturity and stability, despite its relatively smaller population, compared to other parts of the MENA region. This advancement, according to Khalid Shraim, Marketing Manager, Bawadi Mall, is a result of government support in the form of world-class transportation infrastructure and the preference of international retail brands to have franchisees in the UAE. Shraim added: “The shopping industry in the UAE comes among the top priorities of the government in terms of legislations and facilitation, as it is vital to the daily life of people and it serves as an index of the development and robustness of the economy.” He added: “The UAE has attracted a variety of world class retail brands in response to the ideal shopping environment and also because it serves as a springboard for other markets in the MENA region.” Shraim added: “Other key features that make the UAE a top draw among international brands is its strategic location, a multicultural population, free zones, infrastructure, low customs tarrifs, international treaties signed with many countries and international organizations, tax-free environment and strong IPRs laws.” He added that these attractive features were complemented by a series of festivals that have played a key role in boosting the shopping industry round the year. The summer of 2011 saw high sales in shopping centers in the UAE, living up to the reputation of the UAE as a year-round shopping destination. The 140,000 square metre Bawadi Mall, with a gross leasable area of 110,000 square metres, has been positioned as Al Ain’s ultimate shopping, dining and leisure destination. It is located just 5 minutes from the city centre on “Mezyad Road”, which can be conveniently accessed, avoiding the congested city roads. Bawadi Mall, developed by Nael & Bin Harmal Inv. Co. L.L.C., houses a mix of international as well as regional retail brands of fashion, food, jewellery and much more, all in a bright, spacious, and inviting environment, distinguished by a wide curved vaulted skylight that soars above the main corridor and its main three spacious courts. Shraim added: “We have been launching a series of activities in the mall that culminated with KongFu performances three weeks ago. We strongly believe that these activities are contributing to enhancing all sectors in the Al Ain, including the retail sector. We are committed to providing customised shopping experience to our customers and their families.” Bawadi Mall organizes events that target variety of cultures living in the UAE. This comes as a strategy of the mall management and contributes in positioning the city as a rendezvous city of the world. Despite the fact that Bawadi Mall has opened at a very critical period when the global economic crunch was at its height, the mall registered record sales in the very first month, a tribute to its well-rounded marketing strategy and an outreach campaign that targeted tenants, visitors and community at large.

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