The value of apparel sales in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was worth $12.3 billion in 2018, registering an annual growth rate of about 4.8 per cent, while the sector is expected to see stronger performance over the 2019-2023 period, according to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which analysed recent data from Euro monitor International. The apparel market is a major segment and key contributor to the UAE’s retail sector, the analysis found. Global fashion brands still view the country as a preferred entry point for establishing their presence in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, according to chamber press release. The analysis identified menswear as the top-performing category with the segment accounting for $6.2 billion worth of sales last year or 53 per cent of the market value, followed by women’s wear with 34 per cent and children’s apparel with 7 per cent.
The outlook for UAE apparel sales is expected to improve over the next five years as economic conditions become more favourable, while consumer confidence strengthen. Despite the dominance of store-based retail, online retail sales are witnessing a strong growth as many well-established brands explore omni-channel retailing, either through third parties, their own digital storefronts, or both. This trend is expected to put pressure on prices as the industry become more competitive with traditional retailers expected to offer more deals to capitalise on consumer demand, the analysis found.
Menswear is expected to register a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 3.8 per cent between 2019 and 2023 to reach $7.8 billion in 2023. Women’s wear is expected to see a CAGR of 4.9 per cent in sales over the same period to reach $5.2 billion in 2023, largely driven by stable footfall and an increasing in spend on modest fashion. Meanwhile, the children’s apparel segment is expected to remain highly competitive, supported by good quality products and affordable prices offered by well-established brands. Sales within this category are projected to register a CAGR of 3.7 per cent over the 2019-2023 period to reach $1 billion by 2023, the analysis found.