UAE’s Maturing Retail Sector Ranks 14th in Kearney’s Global Retail Development Index

  • The UAE leads the MENA region in terms of household spending on e-commerce, with average spending per household being twice the global average and four times the MENA average.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The United Arab Emirates is ranked 14th in the world for leading management consulting firms Kearney’s Global Retail Development Index (GRDI), strengthening the resilience of its retail sector, due to government reforms and fast scanning.

The study ranks 35 emerging countries based on a set of 26 factors and four key variables to determine growing, attractive and relatively risk-free markets. Rather than providing detailed information on market shares which can quickly become obsolete, IRDG focuses on macro-trends and highlights important new developments in the market.

Technology and experiential marketing are driving the growth of the UAE retail industry as retailers embrace technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of things and virtual reality to deliver a more holistic omnichannel experience . Card payments overtook cash transactions and retailers quickly adopted digital payment technologies, including mobile wallets and mobile payment applications, such as those of Emirates NBD Banks and mePay, further boosting the performance of the sector.

In addition, the United Arab Emirates leads the MENA region in terms of household spending on e-commerce, with average spending per household ($ 2,554) being double the global average ($ 1,156) and four times the MENA average ($ 629), positioning the country as a high demand market.

“The ease of doing business in the country, in addition to the constant support for start-ups and small businesses, and well-designed stimulus packages have encouraged foreign direct investment and spurred innovation in the sector. Combined with high levels of consumer spending, we have seen large international retailers and global brands enter the market or expand their businesses over the past decade. While the UAE recently celebrated its Golden Jubilee, its economy behaves like that of a developed market that has accelerated the maturity of the retail market, so much so that it will soon no longer be seen as a ” emerging market ”in our GRDI ranking,” commented Mohammed Dhedhi,Partner at Consumer and Retail practice in Kearney Middle East who led the GRDI 2021 report.

Looking through markets, IRDG notes that governments dependent on fossil fuels see retailing as a way to diversify their economies away from dependence on oil. It also shows how the center of gravity of the world of consumer spending is slowly shifting from the United States and developed European markets to emerging markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The pace of this development is directly linked to the innovation, penetration and acceptance of consumer and retail technologies, from simple mobile phone connectivity to sophisticated and secure electronic payment systems.

The 2021 Global Retail Development Index takes an in-depth look at Africa, the fastest growing continent and youngest population in the world, an increasingly urban, affluent and open generation of consumers. retail technologies such as electronic payments.

In the wake of COVID-19, Africa is poised to move away from traditional retail models and become the fastest growing, richest and most sophisticated market in the world due to the growth of favorable government regulations, rapid digitization and large investments of both. foreign and national companies. Together, these forces are transforming the face of African retailing and providing a blueprint for the development of other emerging markets.

“With strong historical trade links, African markets are becoming increasingly vital partners for countries in the region. Growth offers retailers a golden opportunity to tap into and invest in a new audience. Large local retailers are already having a head start, with some like Majid Al Futtaim announcing plans to double their presence in countries like Kenya and Uganda, focusing on pricing, private labels and customer loyalty. customers, ”concluded Mohammed Dhedhi.


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© Press release 2021


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