What the experts think on UAE's retail market

The UAE retail industry is set to witness sales growth during Ramadan, according to a poll by The National. Here are the forecasts of our panel of retailers and analysts.

Will the UAE retail industry witness sales growth during Ramadan? The National posed this question to a panel of 12 retailers and analysts:

YES: Stuart Gissing, Colliers International: "Ramadan as a sales period is quite healthy. I'd expect to see an uplift in sales this month. I don't feel that the heat factor is going to hinder it too much."

YES: Karima Berkani, Euromonitor International: "During the [Dubai Summer Surprises festival], shopping hours were extended, which will continue through Ramadan. Longer hours typically increase footfall and in tandem, sales."

YES: Stewart Hutcheon, Majid Al Futtaim: "We expect footfall and sales to be positive and consistent during the holy month this year, as they have been year on year."

YES: Neelesh Bhatnagar, Oasis Centre: "We don't expect to see a dramatic decline in sales … We have always sustained an even footfall, despite many expats travelling during this period."

YES: Fred Watts, Al Maya supermarket: "Anywhere between 10 and 15 per cent would be acceptable in the current climate … Anything over that is going to be a bonus."

YES: VNandakumar, Lulu: "People who went away for the summer have come back now for Ramadan."

YES: Eisa Adam, Dubai Shopping Malls Group: "We expect a double-digit growth in spend this year in Ramadan. South Asian school holidays alongside Ramadan season will [bring] more visitors from these markets."

YES: Joy Alukkas, jewellery retailer Joyalukkas: Expects a sales increase of 10 per cent this month, compared with Ramadan last year.

NO: Ashish Panjabi, Jacky's Electronics: "What we have got left is smaller base of consumers in the UAE during this period overall."

NO: Chetan Dhakan, jeweller: "Ramadan is definitely going to be slower this year, you can tell from the first few days."

MAYBE: Tarek Moussawer, Virgin Megastore: "It is too early to identify a pattern for the overall Ramadan season, but we have seen significant increase in spending across our UAE outlets throughout the summer versus last year."

MAYBE: Berengere Luciani, Allied Enterprises: "Ramadan, especially as it falls in August, has been budgeted as the lowest month of the year in terms of sales."


Published: August 7, 2011 04:00 AM


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