Covid-19 vaccine in UAE boosts shopper confidence this DSF

 

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Dubai - On day one of the DSF on Thursday, mall trawlers and shopping addicts are hitting Dubai’s shopping malls with the confidence that the deadly virus has got a vaccine.

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A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 17 Dec 2020, 8:52 PM

Last updated: Thu 17 Dec 2020, 9:07 PM

The arrival of Covid-19 vaccine in the UAE just before the start of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is a big boost for shopper’s confidence, say residents.

On day one of the DSF on Thursday, mall trawlers and shopping addicts are hitting Dubai’s shopping malls with the confidence that the deadly virus has got a vaccine.


“I am among the first ones to take the Covid vaccine in Dubai. It is a big relief as I don’t have to worry much about enjoying the shopping festival,” said Hassan Ahmed, an Arab expat in Dubai.

A self-confessed shopaholic, Ahmed says he has never missed a shopping festival. “Shopping is therapy for me. But this year, due to the pandemic I have never gone to a mall. I am so glad that I got the vaccine and I am all set to hit the malls today.”


On December 9, the UAE approved the Chinse firm Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine that has 86 per cent efficacy.

Dubai’s month-long shopping extravaganza that began a week later is one of the biggest in the emirate’s annual event’s calendar. This is that of the year when tourists from across the world as well as residents flock to the malls to grab shopping discount deals.

Complete with raffle draws, family entertainment, live concerts and retail promotions,

the 26th edition of the festival will be on till January 30, 2021.

Organisers have said that strict Covid safety measures will be in place at participating malls and shopping destinations.

Many residents who spoke to Khaleej Times, said the vaccine roll out in the UAE encourages them to step out and make the best out of DSF.

“This year has been really touch. I have always been extra cautious and avoiding crowds. But the arrival of a vaccine is a real breather,” said Sagarika Mahe, a mother of two and a long-term resident of Dubai.

Another Dubai resident, Sarangi Gopainath said, “It is a great opportunity to go out with friends and have fun like old time. I am so happy to know that DSF is back despite a terrible year.”

She said shopping has always been a stress reliever and what is better than a month-long shopping bonanza.

Many had switched to online shopping during the pandemic but many shopoholics admit that the real fun is in trawling the mall.

A recent Mastercard Study found that 73 per cent of UAE consumers are shopping more online than they did before the pandemic. According to Mastercard’s survey, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), healthcare, apparel, and banking have seen the highest surge of online activity. More than 73 per cent of UAE consumers said that they had shopped more online for groceries, 66 per cent for clothing, and over 60 per cent said that they had purchased medicine online.

However, DSF is a shot in the arm encouraging people to hit the malls. “I have only done online shopping since the beginning of the pandemic. But I am planning to go to my favourite brands and try out some clothes,” said Ann Mary Joseph.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com



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