Dubai: For those not travelling this week for Eid Al Adha, some retail therapy may be on the agenda.
With much of the country enjoying at least a couple of days off from work, the malls are bracing for a surge of shoppers, announcing discounts, activities and promotions well ahead of time to draw customers in.
“We have seen a rise in families visiting the mall during Eid who want to enjoy with their children while also leveraging from one of the biggest shopping opportunities of the year,” Zeinab Badar, head of marketing for Al Ghurair Properties and Centre, told Gulf News by email.
Sharjah, in particular, has taken the opportunity to slash prices across its malls, with more than 2,000 stores participating, offering discounts of up to 80 per cent.
Prizes such as a Range Rover and trips to New York are on offer for shoppers throughout the week, too.
Organisers of the shopping festival, the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, say that the scale of this year’s edition is due to the huge success of last year’s Eid sale, and the need for shops to make the most of the buoyant retail environment during Eid Al Adha.
In Dubai, meanwhile, fewer malls are participating in sales, owing to the citywide Dubai Summer Surprises, a two-month-long shopping festival, which recently ended.
Nevertheless, many of Dubai’s malls and retailers are still offering discounts and activities for Eid shoppers.
“This Eid, we are hosting an array of... activities such as the African drum fest, Kids summer corner, wildlife photography exhibition followed with an online photo contest wherein shoppers can win a trip for two to Sri Lanka,” said Al Ghurair Properties’ Badar.
Additionally, the mall is taking part in the ‘Eid in Dubai’ promotion, where shoppers stand the chance to win prizes worth Dh500,000 when they spend over Dh200.
It’s not just malls getting in on the action. Standalone boutiques as well as e-commerce players are chasing in on the Eid windfall too. Dana Ashkar, chief executive of CAHO, a UAE chocolatier, says that she always sees a boost in sales around Eid.
For Eid Al Fitr in June, Ashkar said that she had seen “great sales,” that had increased by 23 per cent when compared to CAHO’s Ramadan sales.
“We customised hampers and chocolate trays for many clients in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi. This alone increased our sales volume by 50 per cent,” she said, adding that the brand, which has a boutique but conducts most of its business online, delivered to over 63 customers in one week during Eid Al Fitr.
Pratik Gupta, founder and managing director of Wadi.com, has found a novel way for his e-commerce app to take advantage of the holiday: delivering sacrificial animals to the doorsteps of its customers.
“This Eid... Wadi Grocery collaborated with Laboon farms in [Saudi Arabia] to deliver sacrificial animal[s]... to the doorsteps of our customers,” said Gupta, adding: “[We wanted to] make life easier for people who do not have time to make a trip to the market.”
He noted that Eid Al Adha is a popular holiday in the Middle East, and has an “observable effect on the purchase habits and online activity of shoppers.”
“Trends from previous years show that the overall consumer spending increases by as much as 30 per cent through the Eid holiday,” he continued.
According to the Wadi Grocery founder, people spend more money on fashion, accessories and electronics through the week. And to capture higher spending, the website holds an annual Eid Super Sale, offering discounts of up to 70 per cent on all its products.
Vineet Shrivastava, a retail analyst focusing on the UAE, said that a spike in tourists from the surrounding countries during Eid provides an opportunity for Dubai’s retailers.
“In culture and tradition, Eid is buying time, every child and family member has disposable income to spend on new clothes to wear during Eid,” he said, adding that many also put off purchases until the Eid holiday in “expectation of sales.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if retailers make multiple weeks’ worth of revenue during the otherwise slow summer months,” Shrivastava said.