Greater spending by residents has offset falling tourist numbers, says Dubai mall boss


By Reuters

Greater spending by local residents has offset the impact of falling tourist numbers on Dubai’s retail sector, a senior executive at Majid Al Futtaim, owner of one of the city’s biggest shopping malls, said on Monday.

1Dubai’s lavish malls boast attractions including an indoor ski slope, skydiving wind tunnel and one of the world’s largest aquarium tanks. These have helped draw visitors to the emirate, while tourist spending in turn supports the retail sector.

The number of visitors rose 8.2 percent to 13.2 million last year, but they are widely expected to fall this year due to a strong dollar, weak currencies in Europe and Russia and the impact of lower oil prices on consumer confidence in some of Dubai’s tourist markets. The dirham is pegged to the dollar.

The government has not yet announced 2015 first-half tourist figures. More info