Dubai: A sale is a great catalyst that turns window shoppers into committed buyers and the six-week-long Dubai Summer Surprises that began on July 1 is drawing hordes of shoppers into malls, all seriously intent on finding the best deals.
With special offers and discounts of up to 75 per cent on a wide range of merchandise until August 12, wave upon wave of consumers is heading for the cool interiors of malls even as temperatures soar outside.
Some malls are reporting record crowds of over 100,000 shoppers at peak times, and this is expected to climb higher in the days to come. The parking lots get full by mid-afternoon, especially during weekends, and changing rooms in retail fashion stores witness queues of shoppers waiting to try on their potential purchases.
Shoppers told Gulf News how this extended season of sales is helping them tick off items on their shopping list. “On regular days, I bring my kids to the mall for lunch or for indoor entertainment, but when it’s the sales season, it’s hard to ignore the big, red ‘30 to 60 per cent off’ signs everywhere,” said Motaz Ahmad, from Syria.
The father of three was spotted walking with his wife and children in The Dubai Mall clutching a bunch of shopping bags, mostly filled with clothes his wife has bought for the family.
“It’s hard to walk out empty-handed,” Ahmad said. “There is a wide range of discounts on a number of items, not just clothes. Furniture and electronic shops seem to also offer good deals,” he said.
Jasmine B., a Filipino receptionist visiting Mall of the Emirates with her nephew Mark Anthony, who just moved to the UAE, says her nephew has been visiting only the malls since he landed. She said the discounts are a great incentive to shop. “We always look for something that we can provide our family back home. We don’t only think of ourselves, we also think of our families,” she said.
“The best deal my nephew got was a smart tablet he has been wanting for a while. For me, [there were great deals] on kitchenware items.”
Though Jasmine believes that sales can trigger overspending and buying things one doesn’t need, the bright side of sales outshines all else. “It’s not wrong to reward ourselves after working hard.”
It’s not just residents who are benefiting from DSS. With the Saudi holidays coinciding with the onset of DSS, it has meant a large influx of shoppers from that country.
For Dr Hanan Atea, an Egyptian mother visiting the UAE from Saudi Arabia, DSS is an opportunity to shop at department stores for brands for half the prices. She was at Mall of the Emirates. “In Jeddah, the deals are similar, but here, the promotions begin earlier and the styles are from the latest season.”
Also in Mall of the Emirates was Cora Popa, a Romanian expat, who said that while her shopping habits don’t change, her volume of shopping can increase during a sale. “If I find something nice and for a good price, I will buy it,” she said, as she clutched a pack of discounted table clothes.
Apart from retail promotions, DSS is offering family entertainment and an opportunity to win prizes at malls in collaboration with the Dubai Shopping Malls Group.
Dubai Festival City is giving shoppers who spend Dh250 or more a chance to play a virtual reality game and win Dh1 million worth of prizes, ranging from toys, restaurant vouchers, electronics, BBQs and hotel stays, including a chance to be part of the draw for the Grand Prize — a new 2017 Lexus RC F.
During DSS and throughout the summer, six of Majid Al Futtaim’s shopping malls in Dubai will host midweek sales and deals, plenty of entertainment and prizes everyday ranging from mall vouchers worth Dh10,000, 100,000 flydubai open rewards, 1kg of gold to grand prizes like cars.
Also included in this year’s DSS calendar are Arabic concerts, Modhesh World — the region’s most popular family indoor edutainment centre — and a variety of cartoon character performances and world-class shows taking place at malls across the city.