The other Westfield

So who’s all geared up for Thursday’s big retail unveiling? Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Gucci and Armani are all set to open stores at this year’s credit-crunch defying mall launch. But wait! It’s not Westfield London but another big retail splash that opens on October 30th. Alas, it’s on the other side of the world. Fashion Avenue at The Dubai Mall opens its doors to 70 signature stores and we’re talking a whole raft of upper-end designer labels, not just a token Tiffany or LV. According to the Global Luxury Brands survey conducted by market researches Nielsen, 59% of of United Arab Emirates customers surveyed said they wear designer brands to project social status and 43% think luxury brands provide significantly higher quality than other products. In addition, 31% said they currently buy designer brands, and they are the world’s biggest fans of Christian Dior, Givenchy and Fendi. Whether you agree with status-shopping or not, let’s hope their lavish spending can help haul the world’s sinking economy out of the doldrums.