In less than 12 hours it will be decided, who will win the soccer world cup finals of the biggest sporting event on earth. Will it be the mighty Germans or the classy Argentina? In one of the previous research we have indicated the sporting event is not just about those high voltage matches, which glues billions of fan on their TV set, but also about windfall for many media, retail and food businesses across the globe. The large volumes of business eventuates from the collision of high volume marketing expenditures with millions of generous fans, who’s spending power gets a sudden shoot up amidst the effervescence of the game.

In the earlier research conducted prior to the event, we have indicated how Dubai with its near around 3 million population (considering local tourists and residents from nearby cities as well) was fully charged to spend their nights watching the soccer match in Shisha Cafes, Sports Bars and Lounges, Coffee Shops and Restaurants spread all across the Emirate. The given research has been conducted as an extension of the previous to understand how much real impact the soccer world cup had on the prolific food retail sector of the Emirate. Unsurprisingly, conducted over the same sample of 300 respondents it validates how the soccer world cup has been a great boon to the food retail sector in the emirate in the last 30 days.

Market Survey Results

In line with the previous studies, the market survey indicated that high enthusiasm has been translated into higher footfalls and spending across different kinds of food retail outlets in Dubai. Out of 300, 201 (67 percent) respondents, at least visited once Shisha Cafes, Sports Bar and Lounges, Coffee Shops and Restaurants to watch out their favorite jersey, with Shisha Cafes being the biggest beneficiary. Our discussion with the café owners indicated that most of such cafes were jam packed during the match hours. Regular restaurants also enjoyed higher footfalls, though the intensity was less, probably due to the fact that most of them close down by the time those matches were telecast.

Favourite place to watch the Soccer Match

Soccer World Cup Provided Momentum to Food Retail Sales

The market research was also complemented with qualitative discussions with the managers of 16 food retail outlets. The discussions demonstrated that businesses picked by around 300-500 percent in most of the Shisha Cafes, Sports Bar and Lounges, Coffee Shop and Restaurants in Dubai. The coincidence of Ramadan during the last two weeks has added further momentum to food sales, especially to Suhoor meals which flapped with many of the late night matches.

As discussed above, Shisha sales has also ramped up as many football lovers especially Arabs and even expatriates from other nationalities’ love watching their favourite team along with smoking Shishas. Many of the Shishas café also have provision of Iftar and Suhoor meal deals to capitalize on Muslim football fans during the Ramadan period. Sports bar culture has also further picked up in Dubai, though timings were altered for some during the month of Ramadan. Interestingly besides some of the upmarket sports bar in Dubai Marina and Downtown area, mid-range sports bar in places such as Bur Dubai and Deira has also experienced high footfalls during the Football world cup 2014.

Exciting times ahead for Food Retail in Dubai

Even though the football fever will dissipate for a while post the conclusions of the world cup finals, the food retail outlet in the emirate is expected to stay robust even post Eid. Dubai boasts over 6000 food restaurants, a big number given the fact the present permanent population is slightly over 2 million. Nevertheless, the high propensity to eat out and celebrate among residents and large local, regional and global tourists contribute towards higher sales and make food retail a very profitable venture in the emirate.

Not to mention the fact that Dubai’s overall population is highly skewed towards young population and a large number of them being expatriate bachelors, which makes eating out a natural option. The city’s population and tourist intake both are expected to become near double in another 7 to 8 years as per the long term strategic plans proposed by senior authorities, which should ideally herald more business for existing and new food retailers in the emirate, thereby making the sectors, one of the fertile sectors to invest in the coming time.

Research Konnection

Research Konnection is a Dubai based market research and feasibility study advisory. Brewing the over two decades of various business interest of its leadership in UAE, the key emphasis in Research Konnection is to give right information rather than good ones, that can help existing companies and international investors to take winning decisions. Besides Real estate, retail and education, food retail is one of the key sectors where the team has tremendous expertise and can play instrumental role in consulting and advising international and local food chains and investors to establish and expand respectively. For any further information feel free to drop us a mail at

Author: RKonnect
The author is the Managing Director of Research Konnection, a Dubai based market research and consulting firm that helps local and international companies to identify emerging business opportunities and successfully expand in the Gulf region. The author can be reached at
How can we help you?

Contact us for market research services or submit a business enquiry online.

Contact Us