Dubai is Becoming a World Class Retail Capital
High-profile investments and the introduction of “Vogue” Arabia are just the beginning
When Condé Nast International announced last July that it was set to launch Vogue Arabia, the news took off. The magazine, created in partnership with Dubai-based media company Nervora, marks one of the publisher’s earliest forays into the Middle East, and media brands were quick to join, reporting on how the title would publish a dual-language website in Arabic and English 1st in the Fall, followed by a print product come Spring.
A New York profile titled “The Anna Wintour of the Middle East” about Vogue Arabia’s Editor in Chief, Saudi Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, went viral earlier this month.
The magazine felt fresh, smart and elegant, and is also indicative of a larger movement throughout Dubai.
During the excitement, there was also much discussion about what, exactly, took Condé Nast so long.
The environment in the Middle East, especially within Dubai, is ripe for a fashion media brand of Vogue Arabia’s scale.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) where Vogue Arabia is HQ’d has ample spending power with the most diversified economy in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and no shortage of high-net-worth individuals as residents.
As of Y 2016, Dubai was ranked the 21st most expensive city in the world and the most expensive in the Middle East; according to a February WWD report, Arab consumers spent $320-B on luxury fashion in Y 2016, and that number is expected to grow to $490-B in Y 2019.
The broader region boasts one of the largest and youngest populations on Earth: “Over 350-M people are in the Arab world, and in most countries, more than 50% of the population is under the age of 26,” says Shashi Menon, publisher of Vogue Arabia and founder/CEO of Nervora.
“There’s an extremely large long-term opportunity here.”