Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 August 2019

Why Amazon Prime Day has been a bit underwhelming in the UAE

UAE shoppers don't get the same deals as those in the US and UK do

UAE shoppers have been able to take part in Amazon Prime Day for the first time (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
UAE shoppers have been able to take part in Amazon Prime Day for the first time (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

For many UAE shoppers, the arrival of Amazon earlier this year was a welcome one. The world’s largest e-tailer promised customers unparalleled choice and access to its exclusive deals, such as the ones offered on Amazon Prime Day.

Customers in the UAE are no stranger to flash sales. The country is known around the world as a shoppers’ paradise, and for good reason. Throughout the year, malls and e-tailers across the emirates host multiple shopping festivals, in which prices have been known to have been slashed by as much as 90 per cent.

And with Amazon Prime Day upon us, has this global phenomenon lived up to the UAE’s sale-hungry standards? Frankly, it’s been a little underwhelming.

Firstly, Amazon.ae’s Prime Day deals seem to differ quite dramatically from those on offer on Amazon’s US and UK sites. A quick scan of deals on Amazon’s own devices, including items such as Kindles and Echos, shows 74 offers for US shoppers, as opposed to just 14 for Prime customers in the UAE.

The US version of Amazon has deals on luxury beauty brands such as Sunday Riley. Those are not available in the UAE. There is also a difference in the kind of items on offer, with the US site seeming to have more variety when it comes to home and electronics.

Then there is the fact that other e-tailers in the UAE have launched sales in order to compete with Amazon Prime Day. Noon.com, for example, is currently offering discounts of up to 80 per cent across selected home, beauty and electrical items, matching and even surpassing the discounts on offer during Amazon Prime Day.

Explaining how Amazon Prime Day deals are calculated, a spokesperson for Amazon.ae told The National: “We think carefully about how to customise and localise Prime in each country because we recognise that customer needs and expectations vary. For the UAE, these include things such as access to Amazon Prime Video so members can stream or download their favourite shows, exclusive deals, and free next day delivery.

“We will continue improving Prime over time to keep delighting customers in the UAE.”

Updated: July 16, 2019 11:58 AM

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