Mall of the Emirates has been witnessing an increasing number of tourists, in particular from China. 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 9% year-to-date in 2012 – with Chinese rising to be among the top 20 demographics visiting Dubai.
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 which are 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.
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% increase in guest nights and a 24% 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.
Tanya Atkinson, general manager Harvey Nichols – Dubai said: “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 visual merchandising team includes Chinese language signs at key touch points throughout the store.”
Over the past three years, the mall has experienced a “year-on-year increase, with Chinese tourists accounting for approximately 20% of customers,” said a Mall of the Emirates luxury retailer.