INTERVIEW: Director, Dubai Outlet Mall, Vishal Mahajan

Dubai Outlet Mall

Speaking to Tatiana Tsierkezou exclusively, Dubai Outlet Mall’s director, Vishal Mahajan, sheds light on new trends that are shaping Dubai’s retail sector.

TTG: Tell us about the nature of Dubai’s retail offering. What makes the city an ideal place for shopaholics?
It’s the diversity and choice offered here that makes shopping such a fantastic and fulfilling experience.  From the mega malls, which provide a fantastic draw, with their wide-range of brands and household names, through to more specialised community focused malls, where independent retailers are thriving.  Of course, we offer something different to both of those propositions, but people want to experience different malls for different reasons.

TTG: Have you picked up on any noteworthy trends that are shaping Dubai’s retail sector?
On the whole, shoppers are being very decisive about how and where they shop because they are much more informed than they were five years ago. This has largely come about through social media and the power that brands now have to influence loyalty and secure patronage using this fast-paced medium.   This particularly applies to the younger generation, the millennials, who are very aware and conscious of global trends and want to follow them, and in doing so, are very definite about their choices. A great retail experience is one that appeals to every member of the family, where even a 10-year-old is catered for through the provision of brands and products that he aspires to.

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In terms of demographics, we have seen an increasing number of Chinese tourists visiting the mall over the past three to four years – the UAE government’s relaxation of stringent visa rules for the Chinese has had a positive impact on visitor levels representing this group and they are very cognizant and appreciative of the value we are offering on their favorite high-end brands and labels.

We are also seeing more visitors from the GCC, particularly Saudi Arabia, and from Russia also.

Most recently, we have witnessed a surge in Vietnamese visitors to the mall – we are definitely benefitting from Dubai’s reputation as one of the most exciting and diverse retail destinations in the world and the global outreach that our government actively maintains.

TTG: How does Dubai Outlet Mall stand out among Dubai’s fierce retail proposition?
It’s our value proposition that extends to the entire family which really sets up apart.  Our visitors know that they will have a great shopping experience in an ambient setting, with very good dining options, then leave with bargains galore from some very high-end and premium brands.

Their savings can be as high as 90 per cent off the original price, and no other mall in Dubai can offer this outstanding value on a consistent day-in day-out basis.