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Dubai is a known hub for shoppers, so choosing the right location for business is a big concern for retailers. There are different factors that need to be considered. Prior to deciding on the right place for business, research the city and the areas thoroughly in terms of the population and your target customers.
For example, if you are thinking of doing business in designer fashion, Bur Dubai or Shaikh Zayed Road would be ideal. If you want to deal in high street brands, then Deira would be an appropriate place, and Jumeirah would be best for boutiques. Conversely, if you enter into the business of gold, then go for the Deira souks; for reasonably priced electronic gadgets and colorful clothing material, Meena Bazaar in Bur Dubai would seem an apt location.
Ensure that your store is accessible, visible and gets enough traffic. Smaller retail stores may gain better traffic by being located near larger stores. For instance, retail stores near well-known malls or parks in residential areas or major intersections can become a hit. However, make certain that neighboring retailers are not direct competitors, else, they can eat into your business. Besides, take into consideration the signage, zoning and planning of the location, especially if it falls under freehold or free zone status.
Make sure that the retail space offers proper facilities like appropriate lighting, restrooms for staff and customers, sanitation, air conditioning, safety, security, parking, etc. Check for and ensure the appropriate and timely maintenance of retail space facilities.
More importantly, consider the rent and all other costs involved in choosing a retail store location. For example, rents of retail spaces on Shaikh Zayed Road range from Dh299,300-4,526,790 per year depending upon the size. In prominent locations of Bur Dubai, shops could be available in the range of Dh180,000-3,500,000 annually depending on the size and quality; retail space in the Meena Bazaar area may be available from about Dh45,000 per year.
• Finding the best location for your business is a major decision
• Research on the population and identify your products/services
• Rent, expenses, facilities and maintenance are deciding factors
Source: Arva Shikari, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer