Albawaba.com recently reported that Dubai, the home to the world’s tallest tower, massive man-made islands in the shape of palm trees and a fleet of police cars that includes a Ferrari, a Lamborghini and a 2.5 million dollar Bugatti Veyron, will soon become the world's fashion capital.
The city has its eyes set on the multi-billion-dollar-a-year global fashion industry, which is currently dominated by the US, Europe and Japan.
But in the Middle East, Dubai is the powerhouse, raking in almost half of the region’s market share of retail spending.
Real estate services firm CBRE ranks Dubai as the second-most important destination for international retailers, after London. A little more than half of all major international retailers have outlets in Dubai, and a third of all luxury spending in the Middle East happens here, according to consulting firm Bain and Company.
But the city’s officials want more. They want Dubai to evolve into a hub of creativity that attracts the region’s best designers.
Construction has already begun on a massive project called the Dubai Design District, or D3. The site is dedicated to the fashion industry and will house design studios, boutique hotels, high-end apartments and, of course, a promenade for shopping.
The first phase of construction on the 18 million-square-foot (1.7 million-square-meter) site will cost around $1 billion and be ready by 2015, said Amina Al Rustamani, CEO of Tecom Investments, which is developing D3.
She says the idea is to bring creative minds together under one umbrella.
Capitalizing on the growing interest in local brands, D3 will be built up over the next decade to act as a gateway for emerging designers from South Asia to North Africa.