Shop till You Drop

DUBAI - UAE residents look at shopping malls as the ultimate getaway during the holiday season.

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Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Tue 9 Dec 2008, 1:20 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:13 PM

Shopping mall officials across the country have confirmed that mall activities and shopping promotions have seen record crowds during the National Day and Eid Al Adha holidays.

The Global financial crisis hasn’t put a crunch on the footfalls or the spending habits of expatriates and locals alike.

The Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destinations, has added 100 new stores in less than a month since its opening on November 4, 2008.

Yousif Al Ali, the general manager, Dubai Mall, said: “The opening of The Dubai Mall has energised the retail sector in the region with strong sales recorded throughout the mall.

“In less than a month, about 100 retailers have opened their stores, several of them flagship stores for the region.”

He added that in addition to the line of shopping choices, the mall’s leisure attractions such as the Dubai Aquarium, the Discovery Centre and the Dubai Ice Rink continue to be key attractions for visitors.

Among the stores that have come online since The Dubai Mall opened are fashion and accessories brands such as Cole Haan, Saccor Brothers, Manolo Blahnik, Karen Millen, Just Cavalli, Diesel, Tru Trussardi, CK, Coach and Burberry.

But for mallgoers like Shekar Dev, a resident of Dubai, finding a parking spot at a shopping mall is the biggest hurdle.

He said: “You walk into any mall it is crowed and it’s a big effort trying to find a parking space at any mall in the country.

“I think it’s the atmosphere and attractive prices during the festive season that pulls crowds.”

Jean Pierre Nammour, managing director of Sahara Center, Sharjah said: “Theglobal recession is exactly as the name suggests ‘Global’.

“No country is immune, but here in the UAE we are lucky so far with the recession affecting us to a lesser degree.

“Nevertheless we have had a small decrease in sales so far but with all these festive celebrations during December and the Shopping festivals in early 2009, I believe it won’t be till mid 2009that we feel the effect.

“Hopefully by then the economy in general will get better.”

Sahara Centre recorded impressive figures on National Day on December 2nd and they expect a bigger input for Eid.

Rahul Mahajan, the director of Dubai Outlet Mall confirmed that the centre recorded a a high of 30,000 people on National Day.

He said: “We have had no reduction in visitors or sales at this time, in fact it is the opposite.

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