Mall of the Emirates reveals trends in tourism, caters to growth in Chinese visitors
Multilingual services and exclusive tourism initiatives aimed at providing an enhanced visitor experience
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 12 June 2012 – Mall of the Emirates, a leading luxury and lifestyle destination in the region, is welcoming an increasing number of tourists, in particular from China, to the mall. According to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), an estimated nine million tourists entered the emirate in 2011 and has already increased by nine percent year-to-date in 2012 – with Chinese rising to be among the top 20 demographics visiting Dubai. The mall caters to the Chinese shoppers demand as a leading high-end fashion destination housing some of the world’s most desirable brands, including the region’s first flagship Prada opened earlier this month.
According to Mall of the Emirates’ luxury retailers, Chinese tourists’ shopping habits trend towards an interest in luxury products including branded leather goods, handbags, footwear, and specialised beauty products not available in China. Chinese tourists have also demonstrated themselves to be savvy and informed shoppers, with a keen eye for luxury brands and products. According to Tanya Atkinson, General Manager of luxury retailer Harvey Nichols - Dubai, “Chinese tourists are seeking the most internationally recognizable brand names in the store such as Armani Collezioni, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Coach, Dolce&Gabbana, Gucci, and more.”
In response to this growing trend, while continuing to promote Dubai as a global travel destination, Mall of the Emirates has created bespoke tourism services including a complimentary hotel shuttle bus program with 25 participating hotels; an exclusive ‘Tourist Booklet’ containing value-added deals at retailers in the mall; and multi-lingual Store Directories to attract and assist overseas guests with their visit. According to the DTCM Q1 2012 results, there has been a 22 percent increase in guest nights and a 24 percent increase in hotel revenues.
Across the portfolio of high-fashion brands, Cantonese and Mandarin speaking staff are being hired to better serve the Chinese visitor demographic. “We have recruited to a profile to meet our customer needs, including more Chinese staff,” said one luxury retailer at Mall of the Emirates. Another noted that they “have Chinese team members covering all shifts.” Tanya Atkinson, General Manager Harvey Nichols – Dubai noted that “Chinese tourists are an important focus, and during key travel period for Chinese tourists we employ a Chinese speaking team member to greet arriving shoppers.” In addition, the Harvey Nichols – Dubai visual merchandising team “includes Chinese language signs at key touch points throughout the store,” said Atkinson, as well as impressive window displays tailored to holidays such as the Chinese New Year. The services and programs were developed to assist Mall of the Emirates’ multi-lingual guests, ensuring they have a comfortable and enjoyable visit.
“We are continuing to witness a steady rise in tourists visiting the mall and thus developed specific tourism initiatives to cater to visitors needs and ensure that they have the best experience possible during their stay in Dubai,” said Fuad Sharaf, Senior Asset Director, Asset Management, Shopping Malls. “In particular, Mall of the Emirates is welcoming a growing number of Chinese visitors, most often during the Chinese New Year, public holidays, and shopping festivals. The distinct tastes and preferences of the Chinese shoppers are being catered for, with Mall of the Emirates’ luxury brands and range of Chinese dining options including P.F. Chang’s in the Fashion Dome, making them a key demographic we are working to connect with on multiple levels.”
Over the past three years, the mall has experienced a “year on year increase, with Chinese tourists accounting for approximately 20 percent of customers,” said a Mall of the Emirates luxury retailer. A second high-end brand noted that they “noticed an impressive increase of Chinese tourists this year.” The mall plans to welcome an influx of tourists during the Dubai Summer Surprises shopping festival, taking place June 14 to July 14, 2012. Mall of the Emirates is experiencing tourism growth in Dubai first-hand and is taking initiatives to cater to the interests of guests from a variety of nationalities, including Chinese.
About Mall of the Emirates:
Mall of the Emirates, the world’s first shopping resort, is located in Dubai at interchange four on Sheikh Zayed Road. The two-level shopping centre currently features 520 international brands including 233,467 sqm of department stores, fashion, lifestyle, sports, electronics and home furnishing outlets and the largest Carrefour in the city. The compelling family leisure offer includes a Magic Planet family entertainment area, a 14-screen multiplex cinema, the world-renowned Ski Dubai - the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort and snow park - a five star Kempinski hotel, a four star Pullman Hotel and 85 coffee shops and restaurants. The mall also has a 500 seat capacity community theatre and accompanying arts centre – DUCTAC. The mall has recently added its new luxury wing, the Fashion Dome.
About Majid Al Futtaim Properties:
Majid Al Futtaim Properties is the leading developer of shopping malls together with hotels and mixed-use community projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Majid Al Futtaim Properties has changed the face of shopping, leisure and entertainment across the region with eleven world-class malls operating in the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Egypt and two currently in development in Cairo, Egypt and Beirut, Lebanon. In April 2012, Majid Al Futtaim Properties opened its sixth strategic mall in the UAE with Fujairah City Centre. Majid Al Futtaim Properties has earned numerous accolades and awards from international organisations that have recognised its leadership and the quality of its properties. The Company’s shopping malls continue to witness a steady increase in footfall with more than 140 million visitors in 2011.
Majid Al Futtaim Properties has four flagship shopping malls; three in Dubai and one in Bahrain.
Deira City Centre pioneered the concept of shopping and entertainment in the region. It has over 370 stores with an extensive array of mid-market popular brands, including leisure and entertainment facilities and over 50 restaurants and cafes.
Mall of the Emirates is a world-class shopping mall, housing over 520 international retail brands including 80 luxury stores and a unique range of leisure attractions, anchored by the world-renowned Ski Dubai.
Mirdif City Centre, the latest regional shopping mall in the UAE by Majid Al Futtaim Properties, is home to 430 stores offering the best mix of retail, superior leisure and entertainment concepts that include iFLY Dubai - indoor skydiving centre and VOX Cinemas and a host of delicious fine dining outlets.
Bahrain City Centre is the largest shopping, leisure and entertainment complex in Bahrain with 340 international brands including 60 dining options, and features Wahooo!, the region’s first region’s first indoor-outdoor waterpark.