Inflation in UAE: Is it cheaper to shop in-store or online?

Residents look for the best deals possible as prices of goods climb


Waheed Abbas

Published: Sun 7 Aug 2022, 3:25 PM

Last updated: Sun 7 Aug 2022, 6:52 PM

With inflation staying high, UAE residents should try to source the best and cheapest groceries and other daily-use consumer goods in order to stay within their budget.

Be it online or the brick-and-mortar store, both shopping avenues have pros and cons. Though shopping online is more economical and convenient, a visit to brick-and-mortar outlets will offer more options to choose from for their groceries.


Yesu Yarlagadda, vice-president of grocery at, says online groceries provide customers with thousands of products at the click of a finger, with recurring deals geared to suit every budget, from cashback deals and bargains as low as one dirham.

“Convenience is a significant factor, and online supermarket shopping is fast becoming the preferred customer choice in terms of saving money and time. On noon Grocery, hundreds of deals are available daily, and prices are matched in real-time. Shoppers can also take advantage of our MyRewards program, getting up to five per cent cashback on purchases,” said Yarlagadda.

He said there are many ways customers can benefit from online grocery shopping, such as loyalty programmes, as well as the numerous offers and bundles available, which give customers lots of choices. Price matching and reduced travel costs to and from stores also boost savings - a plus in this inflationary period.

According to a study by Mastercard, around 73 per cent of UAE consumers have preferred to shop more online since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020.

E-commerce players also offer a variety of money-saving mechanics to support their customers on top of their deals, such as additional discounts and cashback on credit cards.

Interestingly, most of the players in both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar segments these days offer the lowest price guarantee rates to attract customers.

Best items to shop online

James Scott, CEO of Grandiose Supermarkets, says grocery shopping online is always a time saver, and this trend is picking up as customer lifestyle choices evolve and consumers become more time conscious. Due to the increasing demand, retailers are increasing the strength of their delivery fleet by deploying more energy-efficient bikes in the coming months.

“The ideal items to shop online are non-perishable and bulk items for our customers to enjoy the convenience of home delivery while also avoiding impulse buying expenditure. But some of the disadvantages customers can face while shopping online from any grocery retailer include no suitable substitution or lack of control over the selection of fresh and perishable items,” he added.

Scott added that customers can enjoy the freedom to inspect products before buying them at brick-and-mortar stores and browse through the different promotions running on the floor.

He added that Grandiose Supermarket regularly runs promotions both in-store and on e-commerce platforms under the “Best Price” campaign, which includes daily grocery essentials ranging from fresh, fast-moving consumer goods to organic, household, and many more to offer a wide variety.


More news from