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'Surprising Dubai' Records Impressive Results in First Half of DSS 2009.

Summary: Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) 2009's 'Surprising Dubai' campaign has achieved impressive results during the first half of this summer extravaganza, registering increased sales across participating malls throughout the city as well as larger visitor numbers in key destinations.

'Surprising Dubai' Records Impressive Results in First Half of DSS 2009

Summer Extravaganza boosts Dubai's Retail and Tourism Numbers

Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) 2009's 'Surprising Dubai' campaign has achieved impressive results during the first half of this summer extravaganza, registering increased sales across participating malls throughout the city as well as larger visitor numbers in key destinations.

The multi-sectoral initiative led by the Dubai Shopping Festival Office (DFSO) has shown healthy sales-indicators from Dubai's retail and tourism sectors, defying a global economic slowdown that has dampened retail sales and tourism arrivals in previous months.

Reports obtained by the DFSO from the Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG) show an average ten per cent increase in retail sales among the 23 shopping malls participating in the DSS 'Surprising Millions' promotional campaign. Overall, Dubai Summer Surprises 2009 boasts participation from a record number of retailers totalling more than 4000. According to the same report, within the second week of DSS, aggregate sales across participating malls breached the AED 145 million mark, representing a growth of 8.2 per cent in revenue over the first week, which affirms the growing popularity of the campaign.

Laila Suhail, Chief Executive Officer, DSFO, expressed satisfaction with the campaign's first half performance, saying "These are encouraging results when viewed in the context of the current global economy. These results affirm not only Dubai's premiere position as the leading retail and tourism hub of the region, but also strongly enhance the status of DSS as the Middle East's most influential summer spectacle. More importantly, the success of DSS is helping to restore consumer confidence and will hopefully sustain the momentum of Dubai's continuing progress."

Growth in the Number of visitors

According to Dubai Naturalization office statistics, visitor footfall from the GCC, namely Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, has recently shown an increase of 36.5% starting with the launch of this year's DSS on June 11 and continuing until the mid-point of the summer event when compared to the same period of the past year. Omani visitors topped the list followed by Kuwait, while KSA, Bahrain and Qatar shared third place respectively. Since the first week of July, KSA visitors have increased in number, largely due to the end of the school year in KSA. These figures confirm that Dubai is solidifying its position as the favourite leisure destination for Saudi Arabian travellers as well as the larger GCC community.

High Occupation Rates

Executives in Dubai hotels have concurred that the summer season got off to a strong start with regards to increased hotel occupation rates coinciding with the launch of DSS and its many promotions in the different sectors for both inbound and outbound tourists. With encouraging hotel prices to suit all social classes, occupation rates reached 70%, a figure higher than expected in the context of the current economic slowdown.

Banking Revive

Banking specialists in Dubai state that banking business witnessed a 10% surge in the few past months compared to the same period last year. Currency exchange usually increases during DSS especially with Gulf currencies and the US Dollar which, in turn, increases the demand for the Emarati Dirham.

Tourism and Travel Agencies achieve high growth rates

Travel and tourism executives have stated that Dubai witnessed a growth in travel business marked by the beginning of DSS. Growth varied between 30-40% compared to the same period of last year due to the large number of GCC families coming to Dubai which has become a key leisure destination offering a wide variety of activities and promotions.

Growth in Retail Sales

The retail sector has witnessed remarkable growth with the launch of this year's DSS. Household-ware, for instance, recorded great sales especially with the wide range of high quality items while PrE[logical not]t a porter clothes sales showed an increase of 10% compared to the same period last year. Gold and Jewellery outlets witnessed a significant footfall of tourists and visitors from the UAE in response to the amazing DSS promotions and offers available which include discounts of 50%- 70%.

Unparalleled OffersThe success of DSS can be attributed to a number of factors, most notably to the unparalleled offers that tourists and residents can take advantage of during the summer spectacle. Aside from the Surprising Millions promotion that offers a total of AED5 million in cash prizes and gifts -- the biggest yet in the history of DSS -- shops and retail outlets throughout the city are offering fantastic discounts that have become the fancy of shoppers.

Emirates Airlines has given the campaign a further boost with its Kids Go Free packages, an exciting special DSS offer that lets children under the age of 16 fly for free, stay for free at participating hotels, dine for free, and play for free at Dubai's major tourist attractions, when accompanied by two adults, who also enjoy significantly reduced rates for a truly value-packed offer.

DSFO has received reports from airline representatives that the package has so far been extremely popular with families not only from neighbouring GCC countries and Iran, but also from the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, South Africa and the Indian sub-continent.

Visitors longing for some of Dubai's summer retreats can head to the finest spas in the region. Over 30 spas all over the city have collaborated with DSFO to offer refreshing and relaxing spa treatments to visitors, who can choose from specialized treatments to discount packages.

After an overwhelming response last year, the DSS Spa Packages return in 2009 with refreshing options to stay cool this summer. Top specialists in the spa industry, together with a truly surreal ambience, make Dubai's spas every visitor's ultimate relaxation experience.

Fun and FestiveSince its inception, one of the popular attractions of DSS has been the world class entertainment shows staged in a number of venues across the city. This year is no different, as DSS puts together a schedule of entertaining programs across various venues, only this time the shows are bigger, better and more entertaining.

Topping the list of venues is Modhesh World, which has always been the hub of entertainment during DSS. This year, the region's biggest indoor edutainment venue has hosted a number of magical and exhilarating theatrical and stage performances.

These perennial favourites, combined with additional new features such as educational interactive exhibits, games and rides have attracted a record 250,000 visitors to Modhesh World during the first half of DSS.

"Modhesh World is one of the premiere indoor family entertainment destinations during DSS celebrations. Tourists who have come to spend their summers here are more likely to visit Modhesh World with its promise of unparalleled entertainment, excitement and thrills," says Laila Suhail, CEO of the DSFO.

Modhesh merchandise also witnessed a phenomenal 22% growth in sales when compared to the first half of 2008 and a trebling of sales during the month of June. The extremely encouraging figures have provided a stimulus to DSFO, owners of the Modhesh Brand, to expand the Modhesh collection to include approximately 1000 products -- up from the current 600 -- with plans to introduce more educational toys to the successful merchandise range.

More Surprises Await"Dubai Summer Surprises is a 65-day campaign, and more surprises are in store in the second half of this year's edition, so we expect to maintain this momentum until mid-August when DSS 2009 draws to a close," continued Suhail.

Suhail pointed out that promotions and shopping deals will extend beyond DSS, with the 'Back-to-School' season from August 9 to September 10, 2009; and the 'Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr Offers', running from August 9 to September 30, 2009.

Suhail also expressed gratitude to the unwavering support of the campaign's sponsors and partners, including Coca Cola ME, Al Futtaim Group -- Dubai Festival City, Al Ghurair City, BurJuman, Emaar Malls Group LLC, Dubai Duty Free, WAFI, Dubai Shopping Malls Group, Dubai World Trade Centre, Emarat, Emirates Airline, MAF Shopping Malls, and MasterCard Worldwide. 2009 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

2009 Al Bawaba (Albawaba.com)

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Publication:Albawaba.com
Date:Aug 5, 2009
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