Dubai – MENA Herald: Trips to the mall are on the rise in the UAE, according to new research from Arabian Centres, a leading developer, owner and operator of shopping malls in the Middle East.

According to a survey of 1,000 UAE residents conducted by YouGov, two fifths of respondents (41%) said the frequency of their visits to malls had increased in the last two years.

Currently 42% of residents reported going to the mall 1-2 times a week, with 13% visiting 2-5 times a week and 7% saying they go more than five times a week.

Emiratis were the most frequent visitors, with 20% saying they go to a mall more than five times a week. Emiratis also visited the most malls with 21% saying they visit more than five different malls each month. Western expats were the most infrequent visitors to malls with just one per cent saying they visit a mall more than five times a month.

Most UAE residents (54%) spend between AED100-500 per mall visit, with shopping for clothes and goods (43%) cited as the main attraction. Spending time with family (11%) and eating and dining out (10%) were the next biggest draws for UAE mall visitors.

The variety of retail outlets (50%) ranked as the most important factor when it comes to choosing a mall, followed by location (36%) and the quality of retail outlets (31%). Of those surveyed an overwhelming majority (82%) said they would like to see more home-grown brands in the UAE malls.

Commenting on the survey, Simon Wilcock, Chief Executive Officer of Arabian Centres said: “Malls are an intrinsic part of the fabric of everyday life in regions such as Saudi Arabia and here in the UAE. Clearly the frequency of visits is on the rise and this is a welcome sign for the malls, retailers and for the UAE economy.  

“People across the region are becoming more discerning when it comes to their retail and leisure requirements. As an industry, we must continue to innovate and listen to what our customers and clients are telling us so we can stay one step ahead.”