Qatar tops the list of the fastest-growing luxury markets, according to new research, with potential to grow even further in the future.

The 'Global Luxury Hotspots' report from Ledbury Research, which was released yesterday (19 November), says Qatar is followed in the rankings by two other Middle Eastern countries - the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia. 

"Having just hosted the latest World Luxury Expo, Qatar has been impossible to ignore in the global luxury scene," says Nicola Ko, senior luxury analyst at Ledbury Research.

"With Italian label Valentino, British landmark Harrods and French department store Printemps under Qatari ownership as well as a home-grown luxury brand, Qela, luxury awareness is high in the country."

This contrasts with the fact the Middle Eastern country had just 0.2% of the global market in 2012, the report says, because consumers often shop in Dubai.

With the infrastructure of the Mall of Qatar to be improved in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup, Ko says: "The luxury industry has significantly more potential to grow in the country".

Africa is another luxury hotspot to watch, the report adds. Luxury opportunities are expanding beyond the continent's Northern countries such as Morocco and Egypt, to those in the South.

Nigeria, which has been ranked the sixth global luxury hotspots, is "desperate for international luxury brands" as many shoppers travel overseas because of the limited selection on offer at home.

"Nigeria is a frontier market, and male consumers there are hugely aspirational - at this stage, demand for luxury is mostly to signify status," Ko explains.