Ajman industrial area big draw for shoppers

AJMAN — Once a lacklustre place with bleak commercial growth, the new industrial area in Ajman is today a thriving business centre for local garment manufacturers having opened up retail outlets selling reputed garment brands at factory prices.

By Meraj Rizvi

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Published: Sat 4 Jun 2005, 10:26 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:56 PM

The street which houses around 30 such factory outlets is crowded with buyers, a majority of which comprise UAE and Gulf nationals. Many have learnt about the factory outlets through word of mouth or from friends and relatives and queue up to purchase garments of good international quality at prices that are around 40 to 50 per cent lower than market price.

“If I can get good quality of garments both for children and ladies at such affordable prices, I do not mind driving all the way to the Ajman industrial area,” said Hala who often shops at the factory outlets located in Ajman.

“Besides, I can also find several brands like GAP, Bhs and Lee Cooper at these outlets at such low prices and I don’t see the need to visit big shopping malls of Dubai and Sharjah which are getting crowded by the day,” Hala, a Dubai resident, said.

A Gulf national who arrived from Oman for shopping said, “The area is not too crowded, making shopping very comfortable for ladies and children. The malls in the UAE are very crowded and apart from traffic, finding parking is a big problem to deal, whenever we are in Dubai,” the Omani lady said, adding that the Ajman industrial area may lack the opulence of a mall, but shopping for good quality garments is cheap and easy.

Factory outlet owners, thrilled with the increasing response to their retail stores, with only word of mouth publicity, claim the area will soon attract reputed brand stores selling at factory prices.

“The first shopping mall of its kind in the UAE to house reputed international garment brands such as Benetton, NEXT, GAP, Raymonds among others is underway at the industrial area,” said Mangal Sawlani, owner of Amri fashion and Excel International.

The mall is expected to open in September this year and apart from his own retail outlets, it will house several brands outlets on the condition they sell their garments only at factory prices.

Sawlani believes that the garment industry which had taken a backseat a few years ago in the UAE due to the cancellation of quota for manufacturers in the UAE, is on the road back to revival with many local manufacturers also gaining through thriving retail business.

Santosh of Mira Fashions said: “The factory outlets have sprung up only two years ago and are doing roaring business already because the quality of products available are of the same quality as the reputed brands. Same fabric and styles are used for the garments sold at these factory outlets, since selling of production run-outs of reputed brands have to meet certain conditions before retailed locally.”

“Our clientele is largely UAE local women and many from the Gulf countries as a result most factory outlets are focusing on garments to suit their taste, designs and colours,” said Santosh.

Daily sales on an average per day, per outlet is around Dh8,000 to Dh10,000, noted another factory outlet manager providing an insight into the volume of daily business generated by the outlets located in the industrial area.

“No major infrastructure cost or advertising cost is involved keeping the profit margins very low, increasing the overall business volume,” he said, expecting further increase in the years to come. “I am optimistic, we will soon become the fashion centre in the UAE,” the official said.

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