Dubai: Outdoor outlets are seeing a sharp drop in sales as shoppers flock to air-conditioned malls.
“Sales have dropped by 50 per cent,” said Abi Belayneh, sales manager at Maison Chic, a furniture store in Umm Suqeim 2.
Belayneh said that the number of visitors have started to drop since late June.
Maison Chic is trying to retain its customers through promotions, he said.
A bedroom and dining set as part of one collection is sold at a 35 per cent discount, he said.
“We are also sending newsletters to our existing clients,” he added.
Karim Sahyoun, owner of Mon Atelier, a niche boutique that sells clothes in Jumeirah One, said he has experienced a slowdown in visitors in August, towards the end of Ramadan, for three years.
“It’s because people travel…the heat… and people like to go to malls during Ramadan,” Sahyoun said.
Visitor numbers dropped from an average of 10 a day throughout the year, to around five during Ramadan, he said.
But business for outdoor outlets still has a chance to pick up in Ramadan.
“Some [people] come here because the malls are crowded [during Ramadan],” he said.
He added that some people prefer visiting boutiques because “they can just park outside and walk in”, rather than taking a long walk to a mall.
Meanwhile, food and beverage outlets are less hit by the summer slowdown.
Fadi Malas, CEO of Just Falafel, said that the number of visitors to outdoor outlets during the summer is not much different than in other seasons.
“People are adapting to heat,” Malas said.
He said that food delivery business picks up during the summer.
Home delivery services at Just Falafel’s outlets in Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) and Dubai Marina are expected to represent “over 50 per cent of total store sales” in the summer, he said.
Just Falafel has 18 stores in the UAE.