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by Robin Teh

UAE – The UAE’s shopping formats and product offerings have improved considerably compared to a few years ago when it lacked innovation and dynamism in comparison with other emerging markets. In spite of its status as a leading economic sector, it was controlled by a few large retailers, leaving consumers with little choice.

However, a prolonged recession and intense competition has resulted in trends that have given unlimited choice and more value for money to UAE shoppers. Most malls have focused on enhancing overall customer experience by providing non-retail events.

Fashion shows, painting workshops and small-scale drama productions are now common. Free sound, light and water shows attract tourists and residents alike. Research suggests that live entertainment and in-mall promotions led to a 10 per cent increase in retail sales and a 10 per cent increase in malls’ footfall during DSS 2012.

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