Abu Dhabi expands retail calendar in tourism recovery push

New retail programme aims to promote the emirate’s global appeal and stimulate post-pandemic recovery

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, April 17, 2021.   Al Wahda Mall Ramadan decor.
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Abu Dhabi is expanding its retail calendar with a series of new consumer events, promotions and campaigns in 2021 to boost its tourism industry.

Retail Abu Dhabi, a platform of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT), will partner with key stakeholders and international brands to create an exclusive programme for the Abu Dhabi market to promote the emirate’s global appeal and stimulate a post-pandemic recovery, the Abu Dhabi Government Media office (ADGMO) said in a statement on Saturday.

The campaign will build on the previous year's events such as the Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season, which led to spending worth Dh2.4 billion on Visa cards across participating malls.

“2021 will see the most exciting roll-out of dedicated Retail Abu Dhabi programming, as a result of strategic collaborations with a consortium of global and local, public and private sector entities,” Ali Al Shaiba, executive director of tourism and marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi, said. "Introducing unique and first-in-the-region experiences, Retail Abu Dhabi’s 2021 calendar will continue to offer opportunities for both the retail and tourism industry.”

Abu Dhabi expects hotel occupancy rates to hit 80 per cent this year, up from 70 per cent in 2020, and will look at easing travel restrictions for international visitors, Saood Al Hosani, undersecretary of the DCT told The National last month.

Retail Abu Dhabi will continue to strengthen the emirate’s position as a shopping destination, by emphasising opportunities for retailers and hosting a series of global events in the UAE capital, ADGMO said. This will be in conjunction with Abu Dhabi Culinary Season events throughout the year, starting with the current Layali Ramadan campaign.

Abu Dhabi Shopping season, which will feature exclusive shopping experiences, promotions across all categories, a Shop & Win programme with major prize giveaways and dining events, will return by summer.

The 2021 retail calendar will also feature key dates in the wider UAE calendar, including Eid Al Adha, spring/summer and autumn/winter collection launches, back to school, Chinese Golden Week, Diwali, the UAE National Day sales period and the Golden Jubilee celebrations to mark the country’s 50th National Day, the statement said.

"With the expansive 2021 calendar, Retail Abu Dhabi will continue to aim to make waves within the industry on a global scale, supported by strategic collaborations with numerous international brands and stakeholders, delivering a unique and enhanced retail experience to residents and tourists, in a bid to further strengthen the emirate’s position as a global shopping destination and retail industry enabler," the ADGMO said.

Retail Abu Dhabi collaborated with the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi in the creation of the 2021 programme.