Russians expected to top spending charts at DSF
DUBAI // Russians are again expected to top the spending charts for this year’s Dubai Shopping Festival.
Affordable flights from a number of Russian cities coupled with a safe environment and warm weather make Dubai an increasingly popular destination for Russians.
That popularity has seen a rapid increase in the amount of money spent in the UAE and during the shopping festival in particular.
According to the credit card company Visa, Russians spent an estimated US$82.1 million (Dh301m) during the festival last year, more than any other nationality, compared with $61.3 million spent in 2012, a 34 per cent increase.
Igor Egorov, chairman of the Russian Business Council, said that trend was expected to continue this year.
“The timing of Dubai Shopping Festival is perfect for Russians as it comes after Christmas and during the Russian New Year,” he said. “Russians enjoy coming to the UAE not just for shopping but also to the beaches.
“Dubai is a big destination for buying jewellery and gold because the quality is good and there is no tax.”
The real figure was probably much higher than credit card statistics show because most Russians prefer to pay with cash, he said.
Mr Egorov, was speaking on the sidelines of the second Russia-GCC Business Forum being held at Almas Tower in JLT on Tuesday.
The announcement was welcomed by officials at Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, which organises the shopping festival.
“This means our promotion of DSF to Russia is paying off,” said a spokesman. “In the past we used to promote DSF in the same way everywhere. But last year we began targeting different countries in different ways and customising our advertising.”
Russian tourists wanted a place to enjoy themselves and relax as well as go shopping, he said.
“Whereas Chinese tourists primarily like to shop for branded items.”
Final official statistics on how much was spent during DSF are expected next month.
The Russia-GCC Business Forum concludes on Wednesday.
Updated: February 11, 2014 04:00 AM