Despite current conditions and strong headwinds, the GCC retail market is stated to have been on a growth path. As per a report, the GCC retail sector is expected to grow at CAGR 4% from USD 253.2 bn in 2018 to USD 308 bn in 2023. According to industry expert International Expo Consults, the innovative signage and digital signage solutions at the retail locations will play a huge part in the growth of the sector. International Expo Consults hosts SGI Dubai – the largest industry exhibition for the signage and graphic imaging industry in the MENA region.
“The UAE and Saudi are big markets for the GCC retail sector and in both the countries the growth is driven by the rise in population, spending capacity, rise in GDP per capita and a growing and evolving tourism sector. Yes, there has been added pressure from the success and the growth of e-commerce, but all is not gloom and doom for the brick and mortar retailers. Those who would are ready to adopt innovative solutions such as segmented reality and other new age signage solutions will fare much better than before”, said Sharif Rahman, CEO, International Expo Consults.
Levels of interactivity with digital signages have gone a notch higher and these include touch, multi-touch, augmented reality, gesture control to mobile and social media integration. These interactive retail digital signages are set to redefine the signage industry’s canvas in the GCC region. These systems can be found in varied environments such as retail stores, hotels, restaurants, healthcare institutions, amusement zones to corporate buildings, among many other locations.
Ecommerce sites such as Noon, Amazon (or Souq in some regions) or Namshi have all evolved in recent times including introducing heavy discount periods, improved product range, same-day or next-day deliveries. This has encouraged various other retailers such as hypermarket giant Carrefour to introduce same-day delivery of items including perishables. The traditional retail is hugely reliant on entertainment access such as multiplexes, FECs and F&B options in the same retail space to drive footfall. This trend will only gather steam due to the indoor preference of the residents of the GCC due to its extreme weather conditions.
The shopping festivals provide an essential growth factor to retail spending in the region. The growing number of tourists that visit the UAE each year as well as the opening of Saudi Arabia as a tourist option and the numerous new entertainment options in Oman and Bahrain will only go to increase the inbound tourism in the area. The increasing number of tourists will positively contribute towards the sector as well.
Digital signage avenues have witnessed a rapid growth surge in the region as the retail market has evolved drastically over the past few decades which has boosted the signage industry. With the onset of this new technology, the retail sector is poised to get a makeover with new interactive digital signages in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. According to sources, the digital signage market is worth USD 18.55 bn globally.
SGI Dubai is an ideal converging point where visitors and exhibitors can reach out with architects, sign makers, print and production manufacturers, media agencies, real-estate developers, brand and image consultants among others. The upcoming 23rd edition of the show is scheduled to take place from January 12th to 14th in Halls 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Nearly 300 exhibitors from around the world will participate and show the latest technology and innovative products to thousands of visitors from over 80 countries. Apart from signage, digital signage, wide format printing, digital printing, textile printing, screen printing, LED and retail the show will feature categories such as AI, software, metal cutting, labeling & branding, spare parts and paper technology.