When one thinks of Dubai, thoughts of popular skyscrapers such as Burj Khalifa, Almas Tower, Emirates Office Tower and the Cayan Tower come to mind. One might also think of massive man-made islands in the shape of palm trees and fast cars like a Ferrari, or perhaps a Lamborghini, or a Bugatti Veyron, all of which are the vehicles of choice for police officers and even some college students in the country. Well, you can now include “fashion capital” as the list of things that come to mind when you think about about Dubai.


Dubai is second only to London as the most important destination for international retailers based on a CBRE ranking. Most of the major international retailers such as DKNY and Christian Lacroix have retail outlets in Dubai. According to the consulting firm Bain and Company, a third of all luxury spending in the Middle East happens in Dubai.


In addition to its market penetration in the Middle East, the city of Dubai will soon be known for its market share around the globe, as its set its eyes on the multi-billion-dollar-a-year global fashion industry currently dominated by the United States, Europe and Japan.


Apparently, city planning officials in Dubai are already making moves to cement the city as the one-stop shop for the region’s best and brightest designers. According to Amina Al Rustamani, CEO of Tecom Investments, “So the idea was like, OK, why can’t we create a SOHO destination for these designers to be in, one place where you have specific events and activities and promotion for tourists to come and see really what is special that Dubai could offer to them?”


Construction on the fashion industry “idea” Al Rustamani speaks of has already begun and is to reside next to the Dubai Mall in order to take advantage of the synergies with existing fashion infrastructures.  The project entitled the Dubai Design District (D3) will bring creative minds together in one area of the city.  It will house design studios, boutique hotels, high-end apartments, as well as innovative retail spaces. The project is set to launch by 2015.



Do you think Dubai could be a fierce competitor against New York and London? Let us know in the comment section below, or tweet me @LindaAmaechi.