Dubai retailers gear up for solid Ramadan sales
Despite slower growth projections for the first half, retailers across Dubai are witnessing steady spend during Ramadan, primarily driven by residents and international visitors, including those from across the GCC proximity markets.
Overall, close to 1 million international visitors are expected to visit Dubai during the holy month.
Overnight visitors from the GCC to Dubai have continued to increase in 2016, with close to 1.3 million visitors in the first four months of the year. Saudi Arabia and Oman alone saw 587,000 and 428,000 visitors come to Dubai between January and April 2016, up 13 per cent and 30 per cent respectively over the same period last year.
Further to this, and adding to increased visitor expectations, the UAE was recently nominated as a top 10 travel destination during Ramadan among Muslim travellers in 2016, according to a study by MasterCard and Singapore-based halal tourism online platform CrescentRating.
The UAE ranked eighth in the list topped by Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, according to the first Ramadan Travel Report. The UAE is likely to emerge as the second most popular destination in 2022 and the top travel destination during Ramadan in 2027.
Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing said: “Dubai continues to be a year round city and with an enhanced destination proposition we are seeing more visitors and residents alike choosing to celebrate the holy month with family and friends in the city. We have seen positive forward bookings and hope to welcome more visitors to the emirate and our many offerings this month.”
Many of Dubai’s retailers also echoed the sentiments, and despite slower growth projections for the first half of 2016, have seen positive upswings across the Holy month to date, buoyed by strong retail promotions and offers.
Majid Al Ghurair, the chairman of Dubai Shopping Malls Group said: “Ramadan is a time for sharing and caring; moreover, inspiring people to buy gifts for their friends and families on the occasion of Eid.”
“The retail sector in Dubai is always geared to cater to this market, and in light of the auspicious occasion the Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG) is offering a rewarding experience for its shoppers during this season through its various offers and promotions. This year around, DSMG has rolled out an innovative promotion wherein shoppers can win Eidiyat up to Dh1.5 million ($408,284) all through the three days of Eid,” he explained.
Tawhid Abdullah, the chairman of Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group, said: “Ramadan is one of the important seasons for traders of gold and jewelelry, as the market experiences positive sales, especially during the last ten days of Ramadan in the run-up to Eid al Fitr, the time when people buy gifts for their families and loved ones.”
Abdullah said that he expected gold and jewellery sales to increase by 5 per cent compared with the month-long period of Ramadan last year. He pointed out that people consider gold a safe haven, and therefore, in the light of the global uncertainty, people prefer to buy gold, as it is the most trusted product.
Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Fahim, CEO of Paris Gallery Group of Companies, said: “For the retail sector, it’s an opportunity to serve the residents and tourists who find the UAE the perfect place to spend their time in spiritual and festive activities.”
“Buying a new product symbolizes the spirit of celebration, and Paris Gallery, as the foremost destination for shopping, is well equipped with its best-selling niche line of fragrances and new lines of stunning, soulful scents. Our special offers will also include luxury gift sets and assorted gift baskets that serve as easy gifting options,” he added.
Michel Ayat, CEO, Arabian Automobiles Company, flagship automotive division of AW Rostamani Group and exclusive dealer for Nissan, Infiniti and Renault in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, said: “We are delighted to have recorded an increase of 50 per cent in sales enquiries in the first two weeks of Ramadan, as compared to the previous month.”
Fuad Mansoor Sharaf, senior director (Property Management) Shopping Malls for Majid Al Futtaim Properties, said:
“Ramadan is a period of festivity and celebration for shopping malls across the UAE. There is a consistent buzz of activity and festivity that, while is still respectful to the traditions and customs of Ramadan, is also entertaining and appealing at the same time which attracts visitors to the mall.”
“Our shopping malls are designed and tailored to offer complete lifestyle experiences, which attract millions of visitors all year long. Dubai tourists and residents enjoy our world-class shopping, dining and entertainment, as well as the renewed experiences and promotions we roll out every month or season, in line with our commitment to create great moments, for everyone, every day,” stated Sharaf.
“As their lifestyle changes, we take it into consideration that this changes the shopping trends. To accommodate guests who are observing religious practices during Ramadan, Majid Al Futtaim shopping malls across the UAE extending their mall hours to 1am, with restaurants and cafes–staying open to as late as 2 am,” he added.
Nisreen Boustani, PR and corporate communication manager, Mercato and Town Centre Jumeirah, said: “So far this month, sales have been up compared to Ramadan last year, there is a remarkable growth. Mercato Retailers are focusing more on promotions and deals this Ramadan; in order to drive footfall and sales.”
“We have noticed GCC tourists coming to enjoy the special ambience in Dubai during the holy month of Ramadan and get the chance to grab few deals in our stores thanks to promotions and deals offered by retailers to entice consumers,” stated Boustani.
Osama Hamza Al Rahma, the general manager, Al Fardan Exchange, said: “Ramadan is a very important season for the money exchange sector, and this year we have witnessed between 3-7 per cent increases in remittances by the expatriate population in Dubai compared to the same period last year.”
“This is largely because of Dubai’s cosmopolitan character as a city that hosts people of diverse nationalities with many of the residents sending money to their families and loved ones and friends before the Eid al-Fitr.holidays,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service