Middle Eastern shoppers to flock to UK for pre-Ramadan rush
Retailers across the UK could see a significant uplift in Middle Eastern spend next week as shoppers flock for the annual pre-Ramadan rush, according to international spend experts Global Blue.
The firm’s figures show that spend from Middle Eastern nations climbed by 43% year-on-year over the rush in 2014 and the trend is expected to repeat this year as shoppers come to the UK to escape the soaring temperatures at home.
Saudi Arabian shoppers are forecast to lead the surge with spending up by 28% year-on-year to date, and will be followed by visitors from Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
Gordon Clark, UK country manager of Global Blue, said: “Centred around the biggest holiday in their calendar, the pre-Ramadan rush will trigger a significant uplift in Middle Eastern spend in the UK. Last year, spend by Arabic shoppers was up 43% for the period, and as retailers and hotels improve their services to accommodate them, by bringing in Arabic speaking staff and learning their culture’s customs, the UK is becoming an increasingly appealing shopping destination for them and we expect spend growth to remain strong.”
As Ramadan is running early this year, retailers and hotels are hoping to benefit from a double hit as Middle Eastern shoppers return for a post-Ramadan shopping splurge around mid-July once their month long fast has ended.
Global Blue's research has also revealed that Middle Eastern shoppers favour fashion and clothing when shopping in the UK unlike Chinese shoppers who are drawn to watches and jewellery.
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