Retailers in Abu Dhabi are set to benefit from a month-long shopping festival designed to drum up trade in Dubai, say experts.
The 18th Dubai Shopping Festival, which will run for 32 days and includes retail promotions and in-mall entertainment, launched last night with a firework display at Dubai Creek.
A few years ago many retailers would run Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) promotions around this time, but now many target customers across the emirates, said V Nandakumar, a spokesman for Emke, which owns Lulu.
"A person can go to our store in Abu Dhabi and still get the same promotion we are offering in Dubai for DSF," he added.
And other seasonal promotions mean that shoppers in the capital and other emirates will also be able to cash in on separate deals.
"It is the time during the year where the seasonality changes, so we are getting into spring fashion so they are getting rid of what remaining winter fashion they may have," said David Macadam, the head of retail for the Middle East and North Africa at Jones Lang LaSalle.
Jumbo Electronics is running five promotions for DSF, which include gold giveaways and money-off vouchers.
"These in fact will be offered in Abu Dhabi stores, so pop along there and enjoy the experience," said Vishesh Bhatia, the chief executive of Jumbo Electronics. "Obviously it can't be [marketed] as the Dubai Shopping Festival because it's not Dubai but those offers will be valid in our stores there." He expects a single digit percentage rise in trade nationwide throughout the month.
Last year, 4.36 million people attended DSF and spent Dh14.7 billion (US$4bn) throughout the month, according to organisers.
But many of those who attend DSF also visit Abu Dhabi, so the festival benefits the capital too, said Farhad Mohammed Ali, the director of marketing at Dubai Events and Promotions, which organises the festival.
"At the end of the day we are the UAE and any country that can give more dimensions to travellers is in a much better position to be able to market itself as a destination," he said.