Dubai has cemented its position as a global hub for luxury, with prestigious fashion houses and high-end brands flocking to the city. Recently, both Giorgio Armani and Chanel made their mark on Dubai, taking advantage of the newly opened Dubai World Expo and the city’s booming economy. Armani hosted its ‘One Night Only’ event at the Armani Hotel Pavilion, showcasing the latest Spring/Summer 2022 collections and a selection of haute couture looks. Meanwhile, Chanel is set to unveil its cruise collection 2022 in Dubai.

The influx of luxury brands into Dubai is no coincidence. The city has strategically positioned itself as a benchmark in the Middle East, boasting a flourishing economy, a stable political situation, and an increasing number of investors. Its strategic location as a hub between Europe and Asia has also played a significant role in its success as a luxury destination. Dubai’s financial services and stable political environment have not only attracted investors but also fashion and luxury brands seeking to tap into the city’s thriving market.

Dubai is home to various luxury initiatives that further solidify its reputation as a luxury Eldorado. Roberto Cavalli, for instance, has chosen the city as the location for the upcoming Cavalli Tower, a lavish 70-storey skyscraper expected to be completed by 2026. Additionally, prestigious brands like Cartier have collaborated with Dubai to showcase exclusive jewelry stands at the World Expo, while Dolce & Gabbana has installed an exhibition at the Italian pavilion.

Beyond tourists, Dubai has become a magnet for high-income families and entrepreneurs. The city’s allure lies in its attractive policies, such as ‘golden visas’ and tax advantages, including favorable income and inheritance tax. These incentives have enticed wealthy expatriates to establish their homes and businesses in Dubai. According to Michele Norsa, executive vice-president of Salvatore Ferragamo, Dubai is a major hub for foreign capital and investment, offering well-managed corporations, high-quality public services, and top-notch infrastructure. Norsa believes that competing Asian centers like Hong Kong may find it challenging to regain their primacy in the face of Dubai’s success.

Patrick Chalhoub, head of the Chalhoub Group, a luxury goods distributor in the Middle East, underscores Dubai’s transformation from a hub for tourism and business to a global destination for luxury retail and fashion. Since the reopening post-pandemic, Dubai has witnessed an increase in tourist flows from around the world, including regions that hadn’t previously targeted the destination. Chalhoub emphasized the importance for fashion and luxury brands to understand the preferences of local consumers, particularly the younger demographic.

Elisa Bruno, managing director of Level Shoes, the Chalhoub Group’s footwear chain, notes that the Middle East is driving change in the luxury market. With 40% of the region’s population under 30 years old, these young consumers hold significant influence over new trends. Luxury sneakers, particularly sophisticated and personalized models, have gained immense popularity in the Middle East.

Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis, Dubai remains an attractive destination for the luxury industry. Although the UAE’s economy faced instability due to falling oil prices, a report by the French Treasury Department highlights that the country’s economic fundamentals remain strong. A gradual recovery is expected, with projected growth of 2.2% in 2021 and 3% in 2022.

Dubai’s ascent as a magnet for luxury is a testament to its flourishing economy, favorable tax system, and strategic location. The city’s ability to attract prestigious fashion houses, luxury brands, and high-income individuals sets it apart as a global destination for luxury retail and fashion. As Dubai continues to grow and recover from the challenges imposed by the pandemic, its position as a luxury hub is expected to further solidify.

Useful links:
1. Visit Dubai