Dubai is putting itself on the fashion map when it comes to luxury brands, with shoppers from as far away as Russia choosing it as their destination of choice. And as Kate King reports, the city could cash in with luxury good sales expected to grow in 2017.
For more than a decade now Dubai has been putting its best foot forward. Attempting to establish itself as a playground for the west. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EDITOR IN CHIEF OF GRAZIA MIDDLE EAST, ALISON TAY, SAYING: "A lot state of the art flagship stores are here and you can expect shopping in an exclusive environment, which is something that people do expect and even demand from Dubai." It's long been the number one shopping destination in the middle east - but with its vast malls, the UAE is now competing on the world stage when it comes to luxury. Up-market fashion houses choosing to sell their exclusive collections there and that's luring big spenders from further afield. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CO-CEO OF CHALHOUB GROUP, PATRICK CHALHOUB, SAYING: "So we are seeing customers coming from Russia since some long time, customers who are coming from China more and more which are coming and discovering this wide choice about it and for them really traveling means retailing and shopping." A recent report by Deloitte found that ,although the UAE feels the effects of political unrest in the region - and economic uncertainty that comes with it - further growth is expected That, showcased by the emergence of several designer events, like Arab Fashion week. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TYRANO CUSTOMER, MARIA INGLIS, SAYING: "One of my friends recommended I come here because the designer brands were there. Everything was where it needed to be. You know, before you went to London, you went to Paris, you went to New York, but now the world has changed. The Middle East is a destination of choice." Global sales of personal luxury goods are expected to grow this year In total, revenue in the sector, including watches, jewellery and clothes is predicted to rise to 289 billion dollars