Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season shows significant 17% year-on-year growth

Record sales of AED 2.4 billion recorded on Visa cards during campaign organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season shows significant 17% year-on-year growth

New figures released by Retail Abu Dhabi, the retail platform of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), indicate record sales figures of AED 2.4 billion were achieved on Visa cards in participating stores alone during the recent Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season. Alongside global partner, Visa, it is reported that total transactions using Visa cards during the campaign grew by 17% compared to last year, engaging 21 malls and over 3,500 participating stores in the emirate.

The seasonal campaign, which ran from 10th December to 14th February, strengthened Retail Abu Dhabi’s position as a key platform for local, regional and international brands operating in the emirate, with the Season engaging malls across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, with programming delivering exclusive consumer offers, products and extra discounts.

The positive results were underscored by a consumer survey which was distributed during Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season, with the results showing 83% of those aware of Abu Dhabi Shopping Season felt encouraged to spend more than they usually would during the winter season event.

Amplified by a series of public-private sector collaborations, Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season was enhanced by the inaugural Abu Dhabi Beauty Week, which ran from 4th to the 14th February. Throughout, the Season engaged a network of partners and global brands, including Visa, Etihad Airways, Emirates Motor Company, Chalhoub Group, Apparel Group, Al Tayer Group, as well as a line-up of global fashion and beauty houses.

“Following on from Retail Abu Dhabi’s successful 2020 Unbox Amazing summer campaign, which demonstrated the sector’s strong COVID-19 resilience, the emirate’s retail sector has once again shown its maturity and agility with Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season,” said HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi. “As our most effective winter season campaign to date, the winter campaign has consolidated Abu Dhabi’s standing as a leading regional shopping destination, amplified with robust strategic alliances delivering first-in-region consumer experiences. This includes the introduction of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Beauty Week, which underlines Retail Abu Dhabi’s position as a platform for innovation across multiple retail segments.

“The legacy of both Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season and Abu Dhabi Beauty Week presents a slew of opportunities to expand the emirate’s retail and beauty sectors for future editions and leaves us very optimistic as we continue to navigate this ‘new normal’ together.”

The various consumer offers and activities all operated within best-practice safety guidelines issued by local and global authorities, and in partnership with the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi (DED Abu Dhabi).

Mr. Rabih Al Hajri, Acting Executive Director of Abu Dhabi Business Center, Department of Economic Development - Abu Dhabi, praised the strong collaboration: “The Department of Economic Development aims to support the rebound of Abu Dhabi’s business and tourism sectors. In partnership with DCT-Abu Dhabi, the seasonal retail campaigns, including the Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season, played an active role in supporting the recovery of Abu Dhabi’s retail industry.”

After launching on 10th December, Retail Abu Dhabi delivered a memorable festive period anchored by exclusive-to-Abu Dhabi products by renowned luxury brands including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, IWC, Chaumet, Jaeger-Le-Coultre, Saint Laurent, Miu Miu, Fendi and Dior.

Shoppers also took advantage of further rewards and exciting experiences through Retail Abu Dhabi One, a membership programme offering the emirate’s consumers access to exclusive-to-Abu-Dhabi products, experiences, deals, brand events and rewards. Strategic partnerships with some of the region’s leading retail groups, including Al Tayer Group, Chalhoub Group and Apparel Group, helped amplify the Retail Abu Dhabi One platform with customised offers aligned with each group’s respective loyalty programme members.

Nida Unas, Head of Loyalty at MUSE, the Loyalty Programme by Chalhoub Group commented: “With MUSE, we have built an exceptional platform that rewards our members’ loyalty with unique experiential benefits along with a convenient and hassle-free shopping experience. Our collaboration with Retail Abu Dhabi during Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season offered new and existing members the chance to enter brand-immersive contests and enjoy an instant Triple Points offer when they shopped at all MUSE brands in Abu Dhabi. The partnership proved successful in acquiring new members, driving incremental growth, and enabled us to further engage & reward our existing Abu Dhabi member base.”

With Retail Abu Dhabi and Visa continuously encouraging contactless payment throughout the campaign, all Visa cardholders that spent AED 200 or more in participating outlets were automatically entered into a massive Shop & Win draw for prizes including Mercedes Benz cars from Emirates Motor Company and four million Etihad Guest Miles.

Shahebaz Khan, Visa’s General Manager for UAE, said: “The great results of the Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season show just how critical digital payments are to rebuilding consumer confidence and accelerating the UAE retail sector’s recovery. We are proud of Visa’s partnership with DCT Abu Dhabi on yet another successful campaign, and thankful to our partner banks that helped make this happen.”

Kim Hardaker, Head of Loyalty & Partnerships, Etihad Airways, added: “Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season represents our biggest-ever Retail Abu Dhabi partnership. The tie-up supported Abu Dhabi retailers and rewarded our loyal Etihad Guest Visa payment cardholders. Four million Etihad Guest Miles were given to lucky winners to spend on hotel stays and shopping, making this an incredibly exciting occasion for so many of our members.”

Complementing the Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season, Retail Abu Dhabi introduced Abu Dhabi Beauty Week – a city-wide activation that brought together global brands and talent to the emirate for a showcase of first-in-region beauty consumer experiences including interactive pop-ups and brand-led masterclasses from YSL Beauty, Lancôme, Valentino, Charlotte Tilbury, Benefit Cosmetics, Fenty Beauty, Inglot and others.

“Aiming to always bring the best of the beauty world to the UAE, the collaboration with Retail Abu Dhabi for the inaugural Abu Dhabi Beauty Week offered the finest consumer experiences through our latest innovations, technology and exclusive concepts. At L’Oréal Luxe, the consumer is always at the heart of our retail excellence journey,” said Khadiga Chahine, L’Oréal Luxe General Manager at L’Oréal Middle East.

The 11-day beauty celebration showcased new-to-region brands available exclusively in the emirate, including revolutionary skincare brand MDO, founded by globally renowned celebrity dermatologist Simon Ourian MD; innovative clean beauty skincare brands Haru Haru Wonder and ILIA Beauty from South Korea; natural, ethical, and eco-luxe skin solutions under Secret Skin including Ranavat, Amly, Pure Earth and Mauli; and more.

“Abu Dhabi is an extremely exciting market not just for me, but for the whole beauty industry. The fact it is constantly trying to evolve its offering with emerging and already established brands shows that the emirate cares about consumers, both residents and visitors, ensuring the emirate and its people are part of the global conversation when it comes to beauty,” said Ourian.

Newly launched Bex Beauty - the first luxury makeup brand designed to cater to the needs of women in the GCC - was one of the hosts of a masterclass, led by founder and celebrated regional pop star Balqees Fathi, as well as the first-ever Bex Beauty pop-up at Yas Mall, with the brand’s latest product, the Monologue Eyeliner, exclusively launched during Abu Dhabi Beauty Week.

“It was really exciting to participate in the first-ever Abu Dhabi Beauty Week with a masterclass exploring one of the latest beauty trends, the graphic eyeliner,” said Fathi, “Abu Dhabi Beauty Week proved to be an ideal platform for exposure and growth in an expanding market with an important target audience.”

In addition to the activations taking place at anchor locations at Yas Mall and The Galleria Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi Beauty Week also featured The ADBW Retreat - a beauty and wellness retreat hosted at key destination partner, Jumeirah Saadiyat Island Resort, from 11th to the 13th February. Underlining the 360-degree approach of Abu Dhabi Beauty Week, The ADBW Retreat successfully engaged consumers with a tailored line-up of activities involving key stakeholders from associated markets, with a three-day itinerary that featured expert-led fitness sessions, leading brands from the wellness world, mindful menus and mat-based activities.

Held under DCT Abu Dhabi’s comprehensive Go Safe health and safety certification, the first edition of Abu Dhabi Beauty Week elevated the traditional value proposition of a retail campaign through a series of immersive and product-led exclusive offerings only available in Abu Dhabi, supported by a contingent of leading international beauty, cosmetics and wellness brands, to position the emirate as a globally significant beauty destination.

For more information on Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season, visit: www.retailabudhabi.ae

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