No need to shop til you drop this Eid: Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates offers ‘hands free’ service

Recently launched at Mall of the Emirates, the Hands Free Shopping Service lets customers drop off their purchases so they can keep on browsing the stores.

Hussain Moosa , director of Mall of the Emirates, informs a customer about the mall’s hands free shopping service.  Pawan Singh / The National
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DUBAI // Whether you’ve splashed out on too many designer shoes in the sales or this week’s grocery list was a little longer than expected, a new shopping service promises to take the hassle out of hauling your bags around the mall.

Recently launched at Mall of the Emirates, the Hands Free Shopping Service lets customers drop off their purchases so they can keep on browsing the stores, relax with a coffee after some intense retail therapy or even call it a day while their goods are packed up and delivered to their car or sent on to their home.

Hussain Moosa, the mall’s director, said the idea was to give shoppers a bit more freedom to do more things when visiting the mall.

“We have been running a pilot scheme since December and the feedback we have had has been fantastic,” he said. “It’s all about making the shopping experience as easy and convenient as possible for customers.”

Bags can be dropped off at three Hands Free desks located on the ground floor near Ski Dubai, Carrefour and Centrepoint.

“People can get their bags sent to them anywhere in the mall in about 15 minutes after making the request and that’s free and there’s no limit on the amount of bags or items” as long as they weigh less than 5 kilograms and are of normal size, said Mr Moosa.

“There is a fee for home deliveries provided by courier service Fetchr.”

After filling out a form, shoppers’ bags are left in a secure area in sealed plastic bags marked a barcode and under the watchful gaze of CCTV cameras and staff. They then receive a text message containing a link where they can select the location they want their bags delivered to in the mall or sent to their home.

The service is available for all shoppers, said Mr Moosa.

“We’ve had people drop off purchases worth as much as Dh30,000 for delivery, so that just shows how confident they are in the fact that it will be safe and protected,” he said.

Visitors to the mall welcomed the idea, and were surprised no other malls were offering a similar service.

“I can see it being very popular especially when there are sales on or during Eid or Christmas,” said Parmjit Joshi, from India.

“I’ve had cases where I’ve bought something but then had to ask the shop to keep it with them so that I can collect it later

An American tourist, who did not wish to be named, said the service would make shopping trips a lot easier.

“It would certainly make things a lot easier not to have to carry all your shopping in bags or shopping cart around the mall.”

As malls compete with each other to attract more customers, and keep them shopping for longer, these kinds of services are becoming more common. In December last year, the Dubai Mall offered visitors the chance to cruise its stores and boutiques in a 10-seater electric car, while in September that year self-service kiosks allowing shoppers to hail a cab were introduced to in malls in the capital.

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