Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment has fine-tuned its 3-day 'Super Sale' promotions. Last year, it created another window, this time for online sales, to run in the second-half of Ramadan. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Dubai is looking to make further gains for its universe of shoppers and retailers with the second Great Online Sale stretching from March 29-March 31 – and with discounts of up to 95 per cent being the hook.

It was last year that Dubai created this discount-heavy window for online shoppers, timed to run just ahead of the Eid break. According to retail industry sources, what the 3-day sales blitz does is set up shoppers for their traditional Eid shopping and gifting purchases - but slightly ahead of what they have been used to.

This is the same formula that the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, which is overseeing the Great Online Sale, has for the 2024 run, and bringing in more ecommerce platforms to offer their choices – and promotions – to shoppers over this week’s Friday to Sunday stretch. So, apart from the likes of Amazon, noon and Ounass, ‘we have the likes of Centrepoint with their online platform as well as that of the Mall of the Emirates and Ikea’, said Mohammed Feras, Associate Vice-President at DFRE’s Retail Calendar & Promotions. “We have close to 75 ecommerce platforms that have signed up this year.”

As for the discounts, “The platforms are granted the chance to run up to 95 per cent offers. It’s their decision what the discounts should be. It’s also an opportunity for these retailers to clear up the stocks in a crucial part of the retail season.’

Watch out for the coupons

Shoppers signing up for the sale using the DFRE website should also be checking out the coupons the retailers offer on top of the listed discounts. There are also daily prizes of Dh10,000.

The Dubai government entity has in the recent past created 3-day windows into the retail calendar over and above what retailers run during their own promotions for Black Friday, year-end sales, etc.

So, the DFRE backed 3-day ‘Super Sale’ promotions – with some of the heaviest discounts – are held in May and November, and a further two timed to coincide with the Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises.

3 Day Super Sale
The 3-day 'Super Sale' promotions in Dubai typically run in May and November. There are also the heavy discount-focused promotions during DSF and DSS. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Now, taking its place will be the Great Online Sale that would drop during the second-half of Ramadan. In effect, creating more synergies between the online and physical side of retail in Dubai.

On whether there are plans to add more 3-day online sales events, Feras said: “Not necessarily, we will see how this one goes. It will depend on the success of this year’s campaign.

“What I can say is that many online retail platforms who were not there for the 2023 sale have signed up.

“After last year’s event, we shared a feedback survey with the participating platforms, asking them about their revenue increase. And last year’s Great Online Sale saw an average 86 per cent increase (from what they would have typically had during the period).

“That’s been a big draw for the higher participation this year.”

Ramadan buying trends

Retail industry sources say that consumer spending during this year's Ramadan has been running fairly steady. Categories such as clothing and accessories are seeing a good deal of activity, and so has demand for smartphones and gadgets around the house (that's helped by the sustained rush of new residents setting up homes).

New car sales will likely close the quarter with growth in the single-digits, according to dealerships. The big worry about the recent incidents around the Red Sea shipping disruptions leading to major price spikes has not materialized so far.