Guided by UAE vision 2021 and the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai for Dubai to become a Smart City, Smart Stores Expo is a perfect platform to showcase emerging innovations and solutions that will help transform the retail industry into a ‘Smart’ one.
As Gulf retail markets mature, the retail sector has the potential to grow into one of the key drivers of economic diversification. The retail sector will remain strong and expand in the year ahead across the GCC, and in particular in the UAE. According to Euromonitor International, the store-based retail segment in the MEA region grew by 5.3 per cent across 2016, while Internet retail grew by nearly 26 percent. With retail sales expected to reach US$ 284.5 billion by 2018, the need to meet the growing demand for consumer goods has led to a boom in planned shopping mall developments, independent stores and supermarkets in the Middle East.