Thursday, October 17, 2019
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Abu Dhabi turns receptive to concept stores

Dubai: Abu Dhabi’s developers are putting their waterfront to good use. Al Raha Beach has come into its own as the touchstone for a vibrant community-themed lifestyle in the city. Now, retailers too are starting to find the location attractive.

“Abu Dhabi is fast developing new areas that are becoming prime locations for standalone boutiques and stores,” said Alia Al Qasimi, who has just launched a concept apparel store, Minbart, at Al Muneera, Raha Beach. “We wanted to move away from the mall culture; Al Muneera is up and coming and attracts a diverse crowd, thus making it an ideal location for such a concept.”

The Minbart merchandise is a mix of local, regional and international designers, including the British label Bionda Castana. Among the local designers, there is an arrangement with NO3 to create a collection that would be sold exclusively at Minibart.

“Though the label was founded in 2013, they’ve managed to build a reputation in the local fashion scene,” said Al Qasimi. “The bottom-line is that we sell stories and consider Minbart to be the perfect space for creative designers to showcase their collections.”

Does it mean that Abu Dhabi’s retail space is becoming more favourable to concept boutiques? “Over the last few years, we’ve seen the growth of a young creative community in Abu Dhabi; there is certainly strong potential in the retail space for concept boutiques,” said Al Qasimi. “I believe over the next few years we’ll see an increase of independent retail spaces that cater to the needs of the community.”