UAE apparel sales crosses the USD 12 billion in 2018

The value of apparel sales in the UAE amounted to USD 12.3 billion in 2018, registering an annual growth rate of about 4.8 %, while the sector is expected to see stronger performance over the 2019-2023 period, new analysis released by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has revealed.

The analysis, based on recent data from Euromonitor International, described the apparel market as a major segment and key contributor to the UAE’s retail sector. The UAE has positioned itself as world-class retail hub which continues to attract retailers and consumers from around the world, while global fashion brands still view the country as a preferred entry point for establishing their presence in the MENA region.

The analysis identified menswear as the top-performing category with the segment accounting for USD 6.2 billion worth of sales last year or 53 % of the market value, followed by womenswear with 34 % and children’s apparel (7 %).

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 the store-based retailing sales, online retail sales are witnessing 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 findings highlighted other key factors and trends that are expected to drive apparel sales activity over the next five years. Menswear is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 3.8 % between 2019 and 2023 to reach USD 7.8 billion in 2023 as retailers adjust to consumers’ preferences and correct supply within the market. Womenswear is expected to see a CAGR of 4.9 % in sales over the same period to reach USD 5.2 billion in 2023, largely driven by stable footfall and an increasing in spend on modest fashion – a trend which is seen continue in the near future.

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 % over the 2019-2023 period to reach USD 1 billion by 2023.