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Lubricating Retail Growth through Healthy Collaboration and Cooperation


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Lubricating Retail Growth through Healthy Collaboration and Cooperation

  1. 1. Lubricating retail growth through healthy collaboration and cooperation Public-private partnership is one of the pillars of the UAE’s – and particularly Dubai’s – remarkable success in forging innovative initiatives that are a win-win proposition for all players. Harnessing technology for smart governance and e-transformation, creating entertainment-cum-shopping infrastructure, devising attractive promotions and shopping events – all have contributed to the remarkable success of the country, which as one panellist puts it, defies the laws of economics “The digital revolution is is getting more and more seeing the retail industry difficult,” observes Dr growing in not-soAli M Al-Khouri, director conventional ways. The general, Emirates Identity shift from an analogue to Authority (EID). a digital environment is “Retailers are going leading to a paradigm shift global to capture a larger in consumer behaviour share of the $1.4 trillion that can be a bit of a e-commerce market. human paradox. On the But to reap the benefits, one hand, the emergence businesses need to analyse of sophisticated gadgets changing consumer Dr. Ali M Al-Khouri and smart devices are making people behaviour to put the correct market reclusive. Yet, at the same time, they segmentation and strategies in place,” he are omnipresent through social digital adds. networks. This is making the buyer-seller Al-Khouri points out that big data is relationship highly complex, with the lending support to businesses to explore disruptive nature of technology making new frontiers of innovation and increase the game even harder for the retail productivity. But big data is also facing industry. Be it products and services or identity challenges, necessitating a more value perception, targeting consumers robust identity infrastructure in the retail 66 Annual 2013 industry. “Retailers will have to build a trustworthy relationship with customers who are driven by a set of emotional values. But it isn’t that easy to gain the trust of customers. Complicating the situation further is growing instances of identity fraud. People are being victimised by data breaches and the retail industry is doing little to prevent identity theft,” he elaborates. Al-Khouri says it is in this context that governments the world-over are putting in place mechanisms to ensure a safer environment to support the retail industry. For example, the UAE government has recognised the need for a robust identity management infrastructure to support the retail industry and positively transform the overall business scenario. “We currently issue smart identity cards to both locals and expatriates
  2. 2. collective – not individual Al Falasi, director – residing in the country that use – benefit (for example strategic alliances division, advanced technology to provide multiforming the Dubai Gold Dubai Festivals & Retail factor authentication while ensuring and Jewellery Group), yet Establishment. confidentiality and integrity. They can fiercely competitive; the “Take the example benefit not just the retail industry and ability of the public and of the Dubai Shopping e-commerce but e-governance initiatives private sectors to scale up Festival (DSF), which as well. The technology, which provides and sustain – the Global has drawn 47 million higher level validation, verification and Village being a classic tourists to the emirate authentication of an individual’s identity, example; and finally the since 1996, the total can be used by retail businesses to ability to course correct. visitor spend being over prevent fraud and put in place a seamless “The role of the $31.03 billion. Tourism has service delivery mechanism. We are also Avishesha Bhojani government is to create opportunities and always been a driver of the retail sector undertaking trials to see if the card can it’s for us to create economic value out of in Dubai, a popular family destination. be used on mobile devices to streamline these opportunities,” Bhojani says. And we continuously work towards the authentication process,” Al Khouri Tom Miles, CEO – Saadiyat Cultural attracting more tourists explains. District retail management, Tourism to directly benefit the According to him, this Development and Investment Company retail sector, offering national validation gateway (TDIC), has more to add. “People from shopping opportunities will make identification all parts of the world travel to Dubai as well as new forms of processes seamless, to savour a world-class shopping entertainment that benefits enhance service delivery experience. It’s because we always try residents as well,” he adds. and vastly improve to innovate and do better. After every Avishesha Bhojani, business processes, leading shopping festival we have a wrap-up group CEO, Bates PanGulf, to healthy bottom lines. meeting between the government and quotes His Highness Late “The benefits of e-tailing private sector representatives – including Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed are huge. But less than malls owners and retailers – to discuss Al Maktoum, who said 1% of retailers in the UAE the achievements, challenges and areas if it’s good for business are leveraging it. That’s Saeed Mohammad Mesam Al Falasi for improvement. That’s why we have a it’s probably good for Dubai. “That’s a why the EID is undertaking all measures great deal of respect for a government testament to public-private partnership to support and facilitate the transition that gives us the vision to go bigger and and the genesis of the DSF, probably to a digital retail environment,” adds better,” he explains. the world’s greatest public-private Al-Khouri. When asked if the UAE has enough partnership in the retail sector. Other Another example of strong publicmalls, Miles counters with the thrust that initiatives followed, such as the Global private collaboration is the shoppingthe country, and especially Village, Dubai Summer cum-entertainment initiatives, especially Dubai, defies the laws of Surprises (DSS) and the in Dubai, to attract global tourist footfall economics. latest Dubai 24 Hours, to the country and cater to the resident “There’s been growth an idea that took eight population as well. One such immensely in population, rapid rise days to concretise. The innovative concept conceived by the in tourist numbers and government proactively government to benefit the retail industry dramatic growth of gross innovated and branded the is the Dubai 24 Hours initiative started leasable area for retail, business model, supporting last year. This year, it ran for two days which continues to rise. It it with advertising dollars, during the Eid Al Adha celebrations. doesn’t make sense but it the retailers on their “The 24-hour shopping experience, works. Malls keep coming part enthusiastically surely a first-of-its-kind globally, turned up. The emergence of The implementing each out to be a huge success. One saw people Dubai Mall forced the likes initiative through their walking around the malls in their pyjamas Tom Miles of Wafi and Burjuman to do some course participation,” asserts Bhojani. at midnight and even later. There was a correction, keeping in mind current He lists the factors behind the success plethora of activities – both in-mall and market needs. But, undeniably, all of of the home-grown business concepts – a outside – to keep people entertained. them are doing good business. Take the government keen to enable and promote Every emirate also ran promotional example of one of the oldest malls, Deira public-private sector collaboration; its campaigns that saw consumers flocking City Centre, which is doing great business wherewithal to innovate; public officials to retail outlets day and night. Such even today. If we push this process of capable of speedy and efficient execution; initiatives clearly demonstrate the building more malls, it will only get faith of the private sector in the power of public-private collaboration,” better,” he concludes. n government; a private sector aiming for points out Saeed Mohammad Mesam annual 2013 67