The millennials and Generation Z are predicted to be key driver of change in UAE`s booming retail sector, a country where the youth bulge – the percentage of the population under 25 years – stands at 27 per cent. But what millennials and Gen Z expect from luxury brands is radically different from previous generations, and that will change the course of the retail markets in the UAE and GCC.
Limited-edition collections, and luxury-brand pairings with cutting-edge, youth-inspired designers, like Rihanna, are among the demands of younger consumers. While fashion weeks and marketing campaigns have been essential ways for brands to maintain vibrant relationships with consumers, one-in-two Gen Zers are looking to influencers to identify the latest trends in luxury. Methods, and tools such as social commerce – where retailers use social media channels as mediums to promote products and services – will be the next growth frontier for local retailers, who are already benefiting from e-commerce’s explosive growth, especially after the pandemic.
Aside from traditional e-commerce, this social commerce trend is expected to unlock millions more in new revenue for Dubai`s major retailers. But changing the in-store experience will continue to be vital, especially in Dubai and the wider UAE where a hybrid retail model is enticing younger shoppers. Recent reports also indicate an increase in Dubai's leisure and entertainment sector, as consumer appetite for fun experiences went up. But millennials and Gen Zs might just be forcing the luxury sector’s biggest reimagining to date.