UAE malls 'top region in shopping area'
Al Ain, June 25, 2012
Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates claim more than two million sq m of shopping area, scoring over all other countries in the region, according to a regional shopping industry expert.
Khalid Shraim, senior marketing manager, Bawadi Mall said that UAE malls have set high standards and created a unique culture that is being followed by other malls in the GCC and Levant region.
This culture revolves round offering “edutainment” to mall visitors rather than mere shopping service, he added.
Shraim said UAE malls have become leading tourism destinations for tourists. “Most tourists ask for malls, having Googled the popular malls in their home countries or having been referred to by friends and relatives. They enjoy our malls because of the unique ambience and plenty of activities we line up for them.”
He added that nine per cent of Bawadi Mall visitors are tourists coming from Oman, other GCC countries and beyond.
Shraim said that retail, shopping and tourism industries in the UAE are inter-related and inter-dependent, and these sectors are growing faster than others in the Mena region, thanks to the a distinctive shopping culture and purchasing power of the Gulf consumers as well as tourists coming to the UAE from different parts of the world and the government’s continuous support to these sectors.
Shraim added that the UAE has pioneered innovative practices in the shopping industry that other parts of the world are emulating, such as festivals, outreach campaigns, competitions, and cultural gatherings.
“International brands are looking at the UAE market as a focal point to reach out to the entire Middle East region. Huge investments, franchises, tie ups and other kinds of partnerships are taking place in the country that hosts a significant amount of tourists from all parts of the world,” Shraim added.
Talking about UAE visitors to malls, Shraim observed: “We believe that all the seven emirates have their own unique traits. In Al Ain city for example, we receive remarkable number of UAE nationals and residents coming from Abu Dhabi and other parts of the UAE throughout the week.”
Shraim added: “Most UAE malls launch series of activities throughout the year that appeal to everyone. These activities contribute to attracting visitors from all over the world and the UAE malls provide customized shopping experience to visitors.”
Bawadi Mall organises events that target variety of cultures living in the UAE, as part of a strategy to position the city as a rendezvous city of the world, Shraim noted.
The 140,000 sq m Bawadi Mall, developed by Nael & Bin Harmal Investment Company, with a gross leasable area of 110,000 sq m, has been positioned as Al Ain’s ultimate shopping, dining and leisure destination. – TradeArabia News Service
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