I have been observing for last one month that markets in general are subdued. Dubai retailers are pushing for sales through promotions on one after one basis. The rush of promotions is unprecedented knowing that Dubai Shopping Festival is round the corner and normally retailers spare all promotions after Ed for DSF.
I was talking to some of my friends who are in construction and retailing business. Construction is down and there are no buyers for properties even when the asking rates are down what they were about 4 yrs back at certain places. Most of the developers are in bad state of financials and even on the verge of collapsing. States are keeping them moving at the moment. Failure of any of the major developers would be catastrophic for Dubai Real Estate market.
Retailers are finding it hard to push the goods off their selves to consumers as they have stocked at high prices. Having left with no options they are on promotion spree and wooing the consumers to push the sales up. I visited 2 places today, one specifically of chinese products (Dragon Mart) and other Centrepoint (Landmark Group). Both were flooded with people who were willing to pick up the stuff at reduced prices. This means promotions are paying or do I say that offering reasonable prices would definately help keep the consumption going and there by keeping economy in high gear. If this model of rationalizing prices to keep Dubai going succeeds it should be adopted world wide by corporations to look at their profit models and be more consumer centric.
Dragon Mart is seeing lot of affluent visitors now. Earlier this place was considered as cheap product and cheap price place. Made in China still carries low profile here…but probably recent economic meltdown is showing people that after all Chinese products may be worth looking at.
The company for which I work has definately taken note of exchange rate changes, fall in commodity prices and have already started giving reductions as far as possible to end customers. I am sure it shall help us.