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by Manoj Nair

Dubai, UAE –  Big just got a lot bigger in the UAE’s retail space. Global brands are giving their retail presence here more than a tweak as they position themselves to make a grab for shoppers’ attention. In the process, Dubai has become a laboratory of sorts to test out the overt — and even the subtlest — retail trends.

Cartier has just opened a boutique — and one of its showpiece outlets at that — in Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Towers, while that other heritage fashion brand Prada is all set to open at the Mall of the Emirates. Not surprisingly, for the latter, this will be one of its largest in its global network.

And it’s not just the uber-fashion brands that are going for the biggest and the brightest store formats. Clarks, that venerable British shoe brand, last week unveiled its C7 concept store format at the Mall of the Emirates, in what a top official said was designed to “target a younger target customer, typically in the late 20s and early 30s”.

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