Shopping remains a favourite pastime for UAE residents.
Abu Dhabi residents tend to be more frequent mall visitors, when compared with Dubai.
SHOPPING REMAINS one of the favourite pastimes for UAE residents, as nearly one third of adults visit malls every week, reveals the latest research data from TGI. Nearly 92 per cent of residents visit malls at least once every year.
Footfall is increasing at a phenomenal rate, due to growing tourism, underlying the UAE’s status as a leading retail and leisure destination.
Arabs and youngsters, aged 15 to 24 years, exhibit a higher propensity towards visiting malls regularly.
Abu Dhabi residents tend to be more frequent mall visitors, when compared with Dubai. Similarly, SEL B and C scores are regular mall visitors, when compared with SEL A or SEL D.
The UAE is leading in credit card usage, where penetration is nearly 60 per cent. However, only 26 per cent of adults own a credit card.
The growing use of the internet is also having an impact on the purchase decisions of shoppers. Internet usage in the UAE is currently at 84 per cent, and although this will affect shopping, it should not be of immediate concern to mall operators. Less than one third of the population agrees that online shopping makes life easier. Thirty eight per cent concur to the statement: “I would do my shopping on the internet, if there was a safe way to pay.”
Advertising significantly influences buying behaviour, as 61 per cent accept that they feel safer with brands that they have seen advertised.
Locality, product quality and price are the three most cited factors, when deciding which shops to visit.
According to Wikipedia: “In 2012, The Dubai Mall was the world’s most-visited shopping and leisure destination, attracting more than 65 million visitors, up by 20 per cent, when compared with 2011, at 54 million. It attracted even more visitors than New York with 52 million tourists and Los Angeles with 41 million in 2012. The number also surpasses visitor arrivals to landmark leisure destinations in the world, including Times Square (39.2 million), Central Park (38 million) and Niagara Falls (22.5 million).”
Therefore, shopping in the UAE is seen as a fun activity, with more than half of the population (57 per cent) stating that they enjoy shopping of any kind. The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre are the top three malls in the region. This rise in footfall is directly related to an increase in tourism, making the UAE one of the top leisure destinations for its residents as well.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not necessarily those of PARC.
Marketing director Pan Arab Research Center