Malls in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are buzzing with procrastinating Christmas buyers, who delayed their shopping till the last minute. Strangely, this last minute dash is causing no real worries for the shoppers as well as retailers.
It was business as usual for UAE retailers on Friday afternoon, the last weekend before this year’s Christmas. Christmas shoppers in UAE are not known to spend large sums of money. Most local shoppers keep gift shopping simple and usually buy gifts for children and only close family members. Most of the expatriates, who comprise about 90 percent of the UAE population, leave for their home countries to celebrate holidays with their loved ones.
The emergence of mega malls in Abu Dhabi and Dubai has made the shopping experience much easier too. Yet, some expatriates feel stressed about lack of Christmas shopping options in the Muslim dominated UAE. Retailers in the UAE do not experience the same shopping fever during Christmas season. On the contrary, retailers in West prepare well in advance for the shopping mayhem in holiday season and offer great discount deals on a variety of goods.
The UAE shoppers are also feeling the pinch of inflation as some of them complained about the rising prices of decoration items and gifts. With income levels not increasing for all sections of labor force, some of them were forced to engage in wishful window-shopping. However, UAE malls continue to attract large crowds, who come to enjoy a restful evening in a festive environment.
Meanwhile, Western Union, a large currency exchange firm, has issued an alert for procrastinating online Christmas shoppers. The company has warned online shoppers to be careful when engaging in cash transactions over the internet, particularly on internet auction sites. The trend of online shopping has seen an upward trend in recent years as shoppers try to avoid the last minute rush and browse for better deals online.
How’s your preparations for Christmas going? Let us know in comments!