What the experts think on UAE's retail market
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