Unlocking Middle East Markets: Dubai Retail Safari

Welcome to our Dubai Retail Safari, a service where we provide a thrilling journey through the heart of Dubai’s dynamic grocery and/or pharmacy retail landscape. This  is one of the ways in which at Bolst Global we can help you  to understand first-hand  the  opportunities that the United Arab Emirates has to offer your  Health & Wellness business looking to enter or further develop business opportunities in this market.

What is the Dubai Retail Safari?

Our Dubai Retail Safari is a full-day immersive experience where we take a small and select  group of clients on an exclusive tour to key grocery and/or pharmacy retailers and distribution players in Dubai’s thriving marketplace.

Where possible we set up guided tours of retailer stores with buyers and retailer representatives present so you can get a personal introduction to the retailer and their relevant personnel.

During your day with us we also set up face-to-face meetings with any good fit potential retailer and distribution partners to really make the most of our expertise and high -evel connections.

Key Highlights from our last Retail Safari

In September 2023 we had the pleasure of supporting a delegation of 20+ South African female producers who were visiting the UAE market for the first time. Here is a rundown of how our day visiting the market went:

First Stop Spinney’s – Unveiling Supermarket Success Secrets

At Spinneys, we had the privilege of visiting the head office, where Commercial General Manager Tom Harvey, shared invaluable insights on what makes brands successful in their supermarket. The delegation discovered the strategies and tactics that have propelled brands to supermarket stardom as well as an insider’s view of Spinney’s inner workings

For several years, our relationship with Spinneys has developed into a trusted partnership. We’ve had the privilege of collaborating with this esteemed retailer, assisting in product sourcing and helping numerous brands in successfully introducing their health and wellness products to the UAE marketplace when a direct to retailer go to market strategy is the right one.

Next Up Organic Foods & Cafe

Organic Foods and Café is a family run company that runs organic supermarkets and cafés selling fresh organic and biodynamic food, supplements, skincare, cosmetics, baby items and household cleaning products. They opened their first store in 2004 and now have several shops in Dubai.

Our visit to the Organic Foods and Café was an essential stop on our safari for our delegation, providing valuable insights into consumer habits and the surging demand for organic and responsibly sourced products in the region.

We met with both the head of operations as well as the purchasing team to understand how this retailer operates. The delegation members interested in working with Organic Foods and Café also had the opportunity to speak directly with those responsible for buying and present their product ranges for consideration.

Over to Dubai hill and Géant Supermarket

Géant is a chain of supermarkets and hypermarkets with a turnover in excess of over 30 billion euros and are owned in the UAE by the GMG group. There are currently ten Géant Express convenient stores across Dubai and a recently launched Géant Hypermarket at Dubai Hills Mall & Al Khawaneej Walk.

During our visit to Géant Supermarket, we met with the Senior Merchandise Manager and  a Category Manager. They shared invaluable insights about the store’s consumer base and how they work with imported goods, shedding light on the specific products that customers are seeking and the top-performing categories for them.

Waitrose | Holland & Barrett | Dr Nutrition I Grandiose

Next, we made our way to Dubai Mall.  A tourist haven and a place that allowed the delegation togain in-depth insights into what it takes to thrive in the health and wellness retail sector, with a closer look at retail outlets such as  Waitrose, Holland & Barrett,  Dr. Nutrition and Grandiose to name a few. Plus here there was also the opportunity to visit some of the renowned pharmacy players in this market too who have a presence in this mall.  These industry leaders have set exceptional standards and carved their own niches within the health and wellness market. Our visit provided an up-close view of the intricacies of product selection, customer engagement, and the overall shopping experience that distinguishes these brands. We delved into the nuances of consumer preferences, exploring the types of products that resonate most with health-conscious shoppers in these various outlets.

Market Insights and Export Strategies

Throughout the day, we engaged in lively discussions both with those we met and between us about key market insights, knowledge and strategies that empower brands to successfully export their products to the Middle East. Understanding these complexities and opportunities as well as being able to navigate the business culture are key cornerstones to success in the region.

Success Stories from Female Entrepreneurs

We wrapped up the day at ‘The Goods Collective Company,’ where we had the privilege of listening to Davina, a highly successful female entrepreneur in the Middle East. Her journey and insights on building an impressive healthy food and beverage distribution company shed light on the remarkable possibilities and potential ways of operating in this market that aren’t always via the traditional retail channels. And yet nevertheless can equally bring significant opportunities for women in business in this region.


Really great experience and a warm welcome by these biggest GCC Retailers with many outlets. Strong involvement by purchasing and category management! Well organized by Bolst Global Congratulations! We saw strong Health, Free From, Vegan and Plant-Based shelve space. Great potential and see you next year!


“Ah, Victoria. Thank you! Your upbeat energy was energising 😀 , and the Retail Safari well-thought-out and well-organised. I especially enjoyed hearing Davina shah share her story and offer insightful advice fueled by her own experience… after first asking for our stories and listening to each person attentively.”


Dubai Retail Safari 2024

Our next retailer safari will be in January/February 2024 to coincide with the Arab Health and Gulfood 2024 trade shows.

It offers a value add experience for those new to the UAE marketplace and wishing to make the most of their business trip.

If you are a private business owner, an events provider or a public sector organisation and would like to know more about our retailer safari service in Dubai for yourself or your clients then please fill in the form below and we will get in touch with you to discuss your needs.

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