Increase in retail sales expected during DSS 2008

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Retail trade in Dubai is immensely contributing to further positioning the emirate as one of the world’s major commercial centres, said Salem Al Ghurair, CEO of Al Ghurair City, a key sponsor of Dubai Summer Surprises 2008, and a member of the Dubai Shopping Malls Group.

“Dubai Summer Surprises has helped turn the summer months in the UAE into a vibrant season for all businesses thanks to the remarkable inflows of tourists and visitors to the city from all over the world to take part in DSS,” he added.

Expecting a 20 per cent and 30 per cent increase in sales and visitors respectively compared to the previous DSS edition, he noted that the Dubai Metro-related construction now going on in full tilt around Al Ghurair City has not negatively affected the visitor turnout in the mall during summer months. “Being close to the Metro is quite advantageous with regard to the future visitor inflows into the City,” he said in an interview with the DSS.

In a series of questions, Salem Al Ghurair highlighted the role of DSS 2008 and the retail industry’s contribution to the dynamic growth witnessed by Dubai.

How do you view the future of retail trade in Dubai?
Retail trade in Dubai is immensely contributing to further positioning the emirate as one of the world’s major commercial centres. Shopping malls in the emirate, including Al Ghurair City, have played a major role in diversifying the economy of the whole country, particularly Dubai, by positively contributing to the government’s initiatives, like DSF and DSS, which have proved to be vital tools in strengthening the emirate’s economy.

Has the construction work on Dubai Metro projects near the City negatively affected the inflow of visitors into your mall?
It goes without saying that Dubai Metro is one of the major projects that will tremendously add to the development of Dubai as one of the world’s major commercial and tourist cities. On our part, we have not noticed any negative effect on the businesses due to the construction work. We rather consider our closeness to the Metro as a huge business asset that will certainly contribute to increasing the number of visitors and shoppers to Al Ghurair City.

Being a principal sponsor of the big summer bonanza, what do you expect from the DSS this year?
The DSS is one major annual event that cements cooperation between the private and public sectors. And as such, the private sector every year expects to reap great dividends from this great extravaganza by launching the best possible kinds of promotions in order to draw in the largest possible number of visitors and shoppers. This period of the year has become quite important for the retail trade in Dubai, and it entails massive marketing campaigns. And as a matter of course, we have the honor and privilege of being one of the principal sponsors of this big event.

How do you evaluate your DSS sales since the start of this year edition three weeks ago?
Our target is to achieve a 20 per cent increase in sales through the promotions we are launching throughout DSS, and we expect a 20 to 30 per cent increase in the number of visitors during the whole event. Al Ghurair City is offering its visitors, across more than 200 stores, the chance of winning AED 500,000 weekly, divided equally among 5 winners when buying goods worth AED 200 or more from any of the City’s stores that all showcase internationally well-known branded products.

Do you think the establishment of the so-called New Dubai, with its new investments and malls, will outshine your presence and businesses in Deira?
We are pretty sure of the loyalty of our customers. Further, we now enjoy a level of popularity around the region, and in many parts of Europe and the US, mainly due to what we offer in well-known global brands, various entertainment activities, and many different dinning options that cater to all tastes.

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