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Dubai's Sharaf DG to double stores in Gulf rollout

Retailer aims to open more stores across the Emirates, extend into GCC

Dubai's Sharaf DG to double stores in Gulf rollout
Sharaf DG plans to open stores in the Northern Emirates and the wider GCC.

Electronics retailers Sharaf DG plans to double its number of stores in the next five years as it eyes new markets outside of its home market, its managing director said Wednesday.

The Dubai-based firm saw sales increase by 30% in the second quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2010 and anticipates its annual sales will grow by 25%, Yasser Sharaf told Arabian Business.

"Including the new Abu Dhabi store we have a total of 20 stores and that gives you around 350,000 sq ft of retail space. [We aim] to at least double that with the UAE and within the region in the next five years," said Sharaf.

The retailer aims to open five stores across the UAE by the end of the year, he added.

"At least five shops [but] it all depends, of course, on landlords handing over on time. Al Ain is planned for this year, Fujairah is planned for this year, Ras Al Khaimah and another Union Co-operative shopping concept in Al Barsha."

The retailer is also in talks to expand further outside of the UAE and hopes to open additional stores in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, said Sharaf. 

Dubai has spent billions of dollars of promoting itself as a world class shopping destination and is home to one of the world's largest shopping centres, Dubai Mall.

Summer is typically a quieter time of the year for retailers as tourist numbers decline and many residents travel abroad to escape the heat. But Sharaf said the company had seen a rise in sales.

"We have had a very good summer this year compared to last year's summer; I think it was an increase of about 30%. The summer this year was fantastic for some reason," he said.

Overall, the firm expects to see sales increase 25% in 2011 compared to 2010 and up 35% from 2009.  "We are electronics retailers and we are very much related to the boom that was happening with all the property. Everybody needed electronics to fit out their units so I think to see that [2008] boom again I think will take some time," said Sharaf.

"On average what we are looking at will be 25% increase in business compared to 2010. If you take 2011 and 2009 we should be around 35% increase," he added.

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