UAE's athletic leisure market poised for rapid expansion

Explosive Growth in Athletic Leisure Market The athletic leisure market in the UAE and the wider Middle East has experienced exponential growth in recent years

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Growing Athletic Leisure Market in the UAE and GMG's Role in Meeting Demand

particularly since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The health and wellness focus among people has intensified, leading to a surge in interest in sports and outdoor activities.

Projected Revenue and Growth

According to a report by Statista, the sports and outdoor market is expected to reach a revenue of $258.10 million in 2023, with an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 6.36 percent. This trend is anticipated to result in a projected market volume of $330.30 million by 2027.

Shifting Focus on Well-being

Consumers, especially Generation Z, are now placing a greater emphasis on overall well-being rather than solely pursuing physical fitness. The pursuit of exercise is now linked to broader social goals such as socializing, having fun, and entertainment. Mental and physical fitness improvement has become a priority, reflecting a 360-degree view of health.

Franchise Agreement with JD Sports

GMG recently entered into a franchise agreement with JD Sports, a global sports fashion retailer. This collaboration aims to open approximately 50 stores in the region. Mohammad A. Baker, Deputy Chairman and CEO of GMG, shared insights in an interview with Khaleej Times:

Catering to Consumer Demands

The UAE's consumer base, including Generation Z, is becoming increasingly fitness-conscious and influenced by global fashion trends. GMG plans to redefine the sports retail sector by offering high-quality apparel that inspires and empowers individuals to lead healthy and active lifestyles. The goal is to provide exceptional customer service and innovative shopping experiences that exceed expectations.

Strategic Partnership with JD Sports

The partnership with JD Sports aligns GMG's understanding of Middle Eastern consumers with the global expertise of JD Sports. This collaboration seeks to revolutionize the sports retail industry by offering a wide range of premium products, exceptional customer service, and innovative shopping experiences. JD Sports' "JD Brand First" strategy will be implemented, marking a significant milestone in expanding into underpenetrated markets.

Outlook and GMG's Role

Driven by the increasing demand for athletic and athleisure apparel worldwide, the sector continues to thrive. GMG aims to play a vital role in this sector by leveraging its unparalleled understanding of Middle Eastern consumers. By combining expertise with the resources and capabilities of JD Sports, GMG aims to contribute to transforming the sports retail industry.

Blurring Boundaries and Broadening Adoption

The line between performance and lifestyle wear is blurring, with sports-inspired clothing being embraced by a wider range of customers. As consumers prioritize fitness and wellness, the sector presents significant growth opportunities. In the coming months, the market is expected to gain further traction, driven by the recognition of the additional value provided by the latest styles and sportswear with advanced properties that enhance performance , GMG's vision is to inspire people and make a positive impact on the world. The partnership with JD Sports reflects this commitment, as both companies strive to develop better products and experiences that enhance lives in the sports retail industry.

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