Mideast shoppers flock to UK
Dubai, September 17, 2008
Middle East travellers seem to prefer the United Kingdom for shopping, with Gulf visitors splurging as much as Dh5.4 billion ($1.47 billion) on purchases last year alone, according to the Global Refund Index report.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait top the list in number of shoppers in UK, said a Gulf News report.
The Middle East's retail spend in the UK in August 2008, averaged Dh18,000 worth of goods, a rise of 74 per cent against 2007, with luxury items high on the shopping list.
'Shopping is an essential element of the UK's tourism offering, and we have found that Gulf travellers in particular appreciate and enjoy the high calibre of shopping options offered in the UK, injecting a significant amount of capital into our tourism economy,' said Carol Maddison, marketing manager, Visit Britain UAE.
The UK attracted 514,000 visitors from the Gulf region in 2007.