Retailers see no signs of sales slowing down for it’s back-to-school products in coming months. October is a big season and many outlets will be offering promotions and discounts. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News

Dubai: Businesses across Dubai are upping up the ante in a bid to stimulate consumer spending, as the back-to-school season is just around the corner. And parents are in for hard-to-resist deals, from free meals to free workshops at the mall.

At least 40 restaurants across Dubai Mall are picking up the tab for children when parents dine in with them. Adult diners can get free meals for two children at almost every food joint at the world's largest mall, particularly in Carluccio’s, Johnny Rockets, TGIFridays, Eataly and in many others.

The offer is valid from August 13 to August 26, 2017 and applicable to kids no more than 12 years old. 

Other shopping malls and retailers are likewise scrambling to woo consumers to open their wallets before the schools reopen.

At Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Deira, Mirdif, Me’aisem and Al Shindagha, parents are promised they could get money-saving deals on school gear from a number of merchants, including Shoe Mart, Skechers, Sanrio, Jashanmal Around the World, Samsonite, Virgin Mega Store, Jumbo Electronics and Forever 21.

In a bid to woo shoppers, malls are likewise enticing consumers with mega raffle promotions and prizes include shopping vouchers and a year of school fees and scholarships.

Parents can let their kids learn something at the workshops, which will be free of charge provided they shop at the stores.

The weeks leading up to the start of the school season is one of the biggest shopping seasons of the year. In the United States alone, back-to-school season purchases account for $27 billion in sales, according to Deloitte.

There is no corresponding data in the UAE, although households in the country have one of the world’s highest expenditures on education, with consumer spending on educational services amounting to $5.5 billion in 2016 and forecast to hit $8.1 billion in 2021, according to Euromonitor International.

Spend to win

To encourage households to shop more, spend-to-win promotions are abound. At City Centre Deira, parents who shop for Dh300 can let their children take part in interactive sessions running from September 3 to 9, and the young ones can learn such concepts as environmental protection and computer programming, and attend daily demonstrations led by a quirky ‘mad scientist.’

Those who spend Dh500 in Dubai Mall can have a chance to win a year’s worth of school fees. And every day, from August 13 to September 19, Centre Mirdif and City Centre Deira are giving away Dh5,000 and Dh2,000 worth of vouchers, respectively.

To be eligible to win, Mirdif shoppers need to spend at least Dh300, while Deira customers are required to spend at least Dh200 on fashion or Dh300 at any Deira City Centre store.

And to cap all the draws with a bang, Deira City Centre promised to pay for Dh25,000 towards tuition fees to one child. Other malls, including City Centre Me’aisem, City Centre Al Shindagha and My City Centre Al Barsha are partnering with Dubai Shopping Malls Group to offer shoppers a chance to nominate a student to win a scholarship worth Dh25,000 each.