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November 28, 2016

Virtual kiosks, interactive mirrors, and hologram adverts are among the ways that GCC retailers are leapfrogging Europe in enhancing the retail experience, according to a report from Alpen Capital.

Boosted by strong tourism growth, new and expanded malls and theme parks, and events such as World Expo 2020 and 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, GCC retail sales are set to reach US$285bn by 2018, according to a recent report by Alpen Capital.

“Immersive technology such as digital signage, interactive kiosks, hologram ads, and audio and lighting are now the competitive advantage for GCC retailers to attract and retain shoppers,” said David Macadam, CEO at the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres, the industry trade body that helps to facilitate and promote the MENA region’s shopping centre development.

“In order to meet the demands of highly-connected shoppers, GCC retailers can leapfrog many European retailers in using proAV technology to bring innovations and online technology into the in-store experience,” added David Macadam.

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The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres will be one of the key partners of InfoComm Middle East and Africa 2016. The Council will join hundreds of pro-AV manufacturers, suppliers, and systems integrators participating in InfoComm MEA 2016, which will be held under the theme of ‘Audiovisual Communications in a Hyperconnected World’.

The Middle East is one of the world’s fastest-growing pro-AV markets, with 72% growth from 2012 to 2016, reaching US$2.8bn. The wider Middle East and Africa market is also posting 64% growth, according to a report by InfoComm International.

Tourists to the UAE are attracted by world-class infrastructure and luxury retail venues, which will be boosted by World Expo 2020 set to host 25 million visitors. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry predicts UAE consumer spending will reach US$200bn by 2017.

As a result, the UAE has become the region’s pro-AV hub, with the country’s market set to grow by 71% from 2012 to reach US$1.2bn in 2016. Retail, venues, and events will top a combined US$146m in value by 2016, according to InfoComm International.

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