Dubai’s attraction as a leading, retail hub, fashion and holiday destination continues to grow, as visitors and residents spend time shopping and enjoying the world-class entertainment at various locations across the emirate, especially during festivals such as Dubai Summer Surprises organized by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020 aimed at drawing in 20 million visitors to the emirate by 2020 is expected to come to fruition as tourists from around the world look at Dubai as a great place for shopping and retailers continue to cash in on a continuous stream of festivals and celebrations that help position Dubai as a year-round family tourism destination.
In the meantime, this DSS, fashion retail stores are wearing their summer colours and have announced big discounts to woo families, the youth and children. Entertainment venues and cinemas are also going the extra mile to ensure that consumers enjoy the benefits of summer in an indoor environment. Against this backdrop, the Media Centre of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) spoke to some leading fashion retailers to understand how the season has been faring for them so far.
Jashanmal Retail, which is a renowned household brand in the region and is associated with international luxury brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Stuart Weitzman, Bally, Brooks Brothers, Porsche Design, Kate Spade New York, L.K.Bennett, Calvin Klein and Clarks among others, has seen a flurry of activity at its stores.
According to Manish Das, CEO Jashanmal Retail, the footfall across all of Jashanmal’s brands increases by 8-10 per cent during DSS and this has a positive impact on sales. “We are seeing a rise in the number of GCC shoppers during DSS and tourists contributing approximately upto 40 per cent of all sales at our stores in the big shopping malls during DSS.”
Irfan Porbanderwalla, President of Middle East and Africa for C&J Clark International which is represented by Jashanmal Retail in the UAE and known for its elegant footwear, said: “We are always striving to innovate and improve our in-store experience especially during the key festivals. Great fitting shoes are at the heart of our business and we want to continue to enhance our consumer experience, ensuring that they have stylish shoes that fit their feet perfectly.
“We are happy to introduce more customers to our innovative technological advances that make walking a pleasant experience. Our newly launched iPad Foot Gauge is a radical new measuring device that combines over 170 years of shoe fitting heritage with state-of-the art design innovation. This technological innovation in footwear can be used to measure children’s feet in-store, making shoe selection even more exciting for both parents and children during DSS.”
Needless to say, innovations like these are ensuring that consumers spend more time browsing and shopping at stores. Further, the incentive of massive discounts and sales during DSS is a major draw for residents and tourists alike. Popular brands like Promod which is known for its young, elegant ensembles, has been offering customers discounts of between 25-75 per cent.
On the personal accessories front, boutique and large jewellery stores have been seeing a large number or purchases over Eid and this has continued into the summer months. For instance, LIALI Jewellery which is known for its high-quality designs has witnessed a surge in business over the DSS period.
“DSS is all about getting a bargain as everyone is on sale at the moment. With gold prices going down we see a huge potential for growth in our gold jewellery business from the DSS tourist as well as residents. We are expecting around 15 per cent growth in our sales this DSS,” said Anuraag Sinha, Managing Director for LIALI Jewellery.
Meanwhile, the market continues to remain ripe for new and unique entrants. Leading British retailer Jack Willis, which has its trendy boutique located at Mercato Mall continues to see increased footfalls since its opening in Dubai. The store offers an array of women and men’s apparel, beauty and home accessories products. Its design takes its inspiration from the British military history, country sporting traditions and the Old England preppy feel.
Jack Wills opened its first store in Salcombe in the United Kingdom in 1999 and is today renowned for reflecting English heritage and style. The designs take inspiration from British military history, country sporting traditions and the Old England preppy feel using the finest quality materials and techniques.
DSS 2014 commenced on 2 August and runs until 5 September, offering residents and visitors numerous shopping options and an exciting line-up of events, attractions and interactive experiences.