Dubai: Russians, Nigerians, and Arabs are the top three big spenders on a whole range of products — including the ‘pricy’ ones — in the first two weeks of the 18th Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), according to retailers.
Gulf News randomly surveyed a number of Dubai retail shops to get an idea where shoppers spend their precious Emirati dirhams and what factors influence their buying habits.
Retailers said most of their clients are Russian and Nigerian tourists, who, more often than not, do not consider the price of goods when shopping. Clothing, luxury items, jewellery, and mobile phones are at the top of their shopping lists.
“Nigerians buy in bulk, even the ones which are not on sale. If they like the product, they’ll buy it. They don’t care about the price,” Haris Thayal, 29, an Indian salesclerk at a shop that sells women’s shoes and bags, told Gulf News.
“Most of our clients are Russians who prefer expensive and big brands. Most Russians also prefer mechanical watches and those with diamonds. Those from the GCC prefer fashion brands,” Sheena Pingul, a sales executive at a watch shop, said.
Determining clients’ buying habits has become easy this season, some retailers said.
“As soon as they step into the shop, we kind of know already what they’ll look for,” Joel Amparo, 30, a visual merchandiser for a popular women’s shoe and bag store, said.
“We can easily tell what our clients prefer to buy based on their nationality because we’ve already established a pattern on their buying habits this DSF,” said Don Asio, a Filipino sales representative at a shop that sells mobile phones and accessories.
Asio added that because Russian tourists are their top clients, they have adapted and learned some basic Russian words to give them extra advantage in dealing with them.
For gold and jewellery, Indians remain at the top spot of jewellers’ lists.
“Basically Indians buy more gold because it’s part of tradition, belief, and for investment purposes,” Indian sales executive Shafeeque Mohammad Ali said.
“Indians and Arabs are repeat markets, they are our regular clients,” Mohammad Abdullah Khan, assistant showroom manager at a jewellery shop at Deira City Centre, said. “But we’ve noticed that Russians and Chinese are also penetrating the market and they are the ones who prefer solitaires and big diamonds,” he added.
When it comes to laptops and tablets, Indians and Filipinos share a common trait, Ryan Dave Kua, a sales executive at a big retail store chain, said. “Indians and Filipinos buy tablets to give as gifts to loved ones back home, and most of the time, brand is not their concern but the price. Arabs, on the other hand, are brand-conscious when it comes to tablets.”
Meanwhile, winter clothes are the bestsellers for children’s clothing. “Russians, Iranians, and Indians are regular customers,” a sales manager at one popular children’s clothing line with many branches in the UAE said.