Virgin Megastores saw a 30 percent spike in UAE sales this summer as more Gulf shoppers flocked to the emirates, as a result of the Arab Spring unrest in other traditional shopping markets.On Wednesday, the retail entertainment giant opened its latest store in Dubai Mall, its fourteenth in the Middle East.
"[Retail sales] are back up against last year. We are up 30 percent in the UAE," Nisreen Shocair, president of Virgin Megastore Middle East said at the launch.With the UAE remaining immune from the impact of the Arab Spring uprisings, combined with the early Ramadan season, Shocair said the country saw a rise in Gulf shoppers this summer.
A wave of public protests and demonstrations spread across the Middle East and North Africa region this year, impacting countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman and Bahrain."It is very simple, with the political situation in Egypt everyone came here and that made sure we had a fantastic summer. It was wild. We have never seen a summer like this," she said."As Ramadan pushes into the summer we are going to see that trend continue as basically people are not leaving and that it good for us retail wise.
There used to be a three month lull but we don't have that anymore."