KPMG UAE 2018 F&B report: “Challenging times facing the industry”

Increased competition and changing demographics are among biggest challenges

The fourth edition of KPMG’s annual series examining the F&B industry in the UAE has highlighted a number of challenges facing the sector with 70% of operators noting declining like-for-like sales.

With nearly a third noting a “substantial” like-for-like decline, new concepts are finding it increasingly hard to survive in the market, according to the report.


70% of operators who spoke with KPMG said they believe this will continue throughout 2019.

Competition in the UAE has also increased as F&B continues to “comprise a rising percentage of the retail mix for many recently launched and upcoming retail destinations”.

The report also highlighted that although tourist numbers continue to increase to Dubai, they are increasingly from Asian markets whose visitors tend to be seeking a more “budget-friendly experience”.

For all the challenges being faced by the industry, KMPG head of retail Anurag Bajpai said that “the medium term outlook for the sector, however, remains cautiously optimistic”, with Expo 2020 Dubai expected to provide a boost.

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