Qatar’s consumer goods market looks set to respond to strong growth fundamentals with product innovation and differentiation keys to success, according to Stephan Kurzawski, senior vice president of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, which organises Ambiente.
“Qatar has one of the world’s highest GDP per capita meaning its retail sector benefits from high levels of disposable income, coupled with a large expat population and an indigenous annual population growth estimated 0.4% through to 2030.
Added to this is the reality that malls are often the country’s primary choice for leisure and entertainment as well as shopping, with Qatar having some of the region’s most upmarket retail/entertainment offerings.
“Consumer trends are maturing and leading to demand for ethical and authentic products, an increasingly sophisticated and high-end design appetite and the government’s plans to allow 100% foreign investment in all sectors, which will spur entrepreneurial creation,” Kurzawski said.
He said opportunities will also arise from the country’s imminent hosting of three major sports events, including the FIFA World Cup 2022, new shopping festivals and initiatives reforms, such as allowing visa-free entry for nationals from 80 countries, which will encourage high tourism spend going forward.
Kurzawski was in Doha to encourage the nation’s retailers, distributors, wholesalers, interior designers, and hospitality industry to visit Ambiente 2020, which will be held in Frankfurt from February 7 to 11, 2020. The show regularly attracts over 130,000 visitors from more than 160 countries.
“Analysts say Qatar has almost 519,300sq m of retail space under development, which means mall owners and retailers will have to focus heavily on differentiation to ensure success. If there is one event which will spur their imagination, enable them to meet future partners and suppliers, source innovative stock and discover the trends driving the industry, it is Ambiente,” he explained.
“They can network with high-calibre producers and make direct contact with competent, high-quality manufacturers via the shortest route. This is the largest and most important meeting place for global sourcing outside Asia with over 4,500 exhibitors from over 90 countries,” he continued.
Kurzawski said the 2020 show would be more important for hotel, restaurant, and catering professionals as it will feature the launch of Ambiente’s new dedicated HoReCa hall.
“The focus here will be on products and topics associated with front-of-house business, for example everything that concerns the work and customer experience within the hospitality space, which is a key development area for Qatar,” he said.
Kurzawski said next year’s Ambiente will sub-divide into three distinct segments – giving, living, and dining.
“All three areas have particular relevance to Qatar. ‘giving,’ which celebrates the diversity of gift ideas, because of this region’s strong gifting traditions; ‘living,’ which focuses on interior design, furnishings and decoration, because of the luxury home aspirations prevalent in the country; and ‘dining’, which will appeal to designers and the hospitality sector as it is Ambiente’s major stage for everything that makes cooking and the household easier, and the eating experience more special.
“Buyers from Qatar’s very buoyant and luxurious hospitality sector will find inspiration here from new gastronomy and customising concepts which will aid the differentiation process,” he said.
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