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Forever 21 Arrives in Dubai’s Biggest Mall

Fast fashion is not slowing down in the Middle East, and neither is Forever 21.

The Sharaf Group last week opened a 12,000-square-foot Forever 21 store at the Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai’s biggest themed shopping mall with over 400 outlets.

“This is in line with our vision and endeavor to reach closer to our brand fans in different parts of the UAE and convert new ones,” Yasser Sharaf, vice president for retail, hospitality, industry and financial services for the diversified conglomerate, said. “Our goal is to nurture the longstanding relationship with Middle Eastern consumers by investing in expanding our presence across the region and elevating the brand experience across an omni channel ecosystem that encompasses retail stores, e-commerce and social media.”

Henry Stupp, Authentic Brands Group’s (ABG) president for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) & India, said the new store further positions Forever 21 to “deliver on-trend fashion at an accessible price point.”

“We are committed to identifying areas of growth across the brand and are taking steps to increase our focus on sustainability,” Stupp added.

Sharaf is a long-term Forever 21 partner for the Middle East. It signed a new partnership agreement with ABG last year, which includes expanding its licensing rights to encompass additional categories such as home and add new territories in Southeast Asia. Most of ABG’s licensing partnerships run longer than the average at a minimum of 10 years.

Sharaf Group has opened a Forever 21 store at the Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai, and could open more doors for the retailer later this year.
A look at the Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai, where Sharaf Group opened at 12,000-square foot Forever 21 store last week. Ibn Battuta Mall

Sharaf rolled out a regional omnichannel strategy for the fast-fashion chain last year that included a new e-commerce site for its United Arab Emirates consumers, and two new stores at Sahara Centre and Al Ghurair Centre. It also began construction plans last year for three more Forever 21 stores at the Yas Mall, Nahkeel Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall. It currently operates 22 stores across the Middle East and Southeast Asia, with a few more Forever 21 doors potentially in the works to open this year.

Forever 21’s 2019 bankruptcy didn’t touch its international operations, putting ABG, Simon and Brookfield in a good position when they acquired the fast-fashion company in 2020.

The retailer landed Winnie Park as its new CEO in January after former boss Daniel Kulle departed last year.