Friday, 9 December 2016

UAE Business News: Discount markets still a draw for Abu Dhabi residents

UAE Business News:Discount markets still a draw for Abu Dhabi residents
Abu Dhabi News: The capital may be teeming with shiny new stores sporting the latest electronics, fashion and homeware collections, but throughout the year, it is the everyday discount markets that see the greatest consumer footfall.
UAE Business News: Discount markets still a draw for Abu Dhabi residents

Most of these outlets feature a variety of items at extremely affordable prices. While some products are priced as low as Dh1, most items cost between Dh5 and Dh30.
But it is not just the prices that attract customers; the other draw is that the stores feature a range of products — from bedding to garments, and crockery to skincare.
“Today, I’m here to buy a pair of slippers and some soap and shampoo. I regularly shop here for my everyday uses, as everything is available across the store,” said Sohail Khan, a 23-year-old restaurant worker from India who was shopping at a discount market off Hamdan Bin Mohammad Street.
“The prices are very cheap here and they suit my budget. I usually spend Dh150 per month on personal belongings and items, as well as perfumes and watches. In addition, I always come here to buy presents for my family and friends before I go on holiday,” he added.
For Mounir Tibari, a 35-year-old maintenance manager from Morocco, discount markets cater to his specific needs.
“I’m single and live alone, so I don’t like spending time on laundry. So I come here to find affordable and cheap underwear, socks, towels, blankets and bedsheets that I can discard and dispose after using them,” he said.
Despite the regional economic slowdown, the capital saw a number of new discount markets open their doors this summer in downtown Abu Dhabi.
Abdus Subhan Megoon, 24, a sales associate from India, was buying socks from a recently opened two-storey discount market on Zayed the First Street.
“I find the quality to be good, and the price is cheap too. I find out [other] shops charge much more for almost the same kind of product,” Megoon, who takes home Dh3,000 every month, said.
The large collection of products also makes shopping convenient.
“When I am looking for something specific, this is the best place to find it,” he added.
Beauty products for women are aplenty at the discount markets, which draw their fair share of the fairer sex.
“I come here and usually go back with quite a bit of make-up — nail polishes, lipsticks, nail kits and soaps. The best thing is that you can find almost everything at this shop, and the prices are perfect,” said Shammi Munni, a 32-year-old tailor from Bangladesh. She was stocking her shopping basket with cosmetics at a long-established discount store on Sultan Bin Zayed the First Street.
“I earn an average salary of Dh2,000 and reserve about Dh300 for cosmetics and beauty products,” she said with a smile.
Contrary to popular perception, it is not just low income-earners who frequent discount markets. Many expats prefer to pick up gifts for friends and family, especially as buying many items does not require a huge outlay of cash.
“We’re leaving for our annual vacation on Thursday, and coming to a discount market is perfect when you want gifts for family and friends,” said 38-year-old graphic designer Sree Kumar, who was out shopping with his wife and one-year-old son. The family has an average monthly earning of Dh10,000.
“We find everything here, from our household items to electronics and personal products. Today, we are here to get perfumes, watches, clothes and toys,” said Kumar’s 27-year-old wife, Anju. She works as a nurse at a private hospital in the capital.
Apart from residents, visitors too hunt for bargains at Abu Dhabi’s discount outlets.
“I’m here on a two-month trip, so I’m looking to buy myself several outfits today, as well as some for my wife and children,” said Thomas Talakkottur, a chef from India. He added that he found the prices to be so reasonable that he was planning to buy watches, perfumes and cosmetics as gifts before he left the store.

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