The country will spearhead sales growth in the Middle East, accounting for 28 percent of the regional market's total revenue for the forecasted period.
UAE is home of one of the world's largest spenders per population. Source: Pixabay
At $101 per capita, UAE consumers are said to be one of the biggest spenders on toys, games and video games in the world, according to Euromonitor International. The country, which was reported to have spent $869 million on the toy industry in 2015, is expected to spend up to $1.1 billion from this year through 2020, marking an annual increase of 6.2 percent, and making up 28 percent of the total sales in the Middle East.
The research firm has determined the UAE's rising population, high disposable income and tourism as the key contributors of the constant demand for toys and games. Homegrown suppliers will find plenty of niches in the traditional toys and games industry to fill, with fewer models being produced domestically.
The UAE is also seen as an emerging destination for international toy manufacturers and exporters, with most already set to flock to the upcoming Playworld fair in Dubai.
For instance, Hong Kong's New Capable has tapped into the Middle East toy market, investing $1 million, and is expecting to receive at least a 50 to 100 percent increase in turnover by 2017. The company will debut a new line of magnetic blocks and RC drones at the fair.
Australia's Moose Toys, with Nelvana, is expanding its Shopkins line to the Middle East, offering licensing programs through Dubai-based 20too Licensing. Rochas, Developing Dreamz, and MEI will then become the main distributors of toys, stationery, events supplies and travel accessories under this deal. Lego, meanwhile, will continue to enjoy demand, as fuelled by its popularity resurgence last year due to the opening of Legoland Dubai.
The global toy market reached a record-breaking $90 billion in sales last 2016, with a large portion contributed by licensed toy brands.