Friday, November 4

Recession!!! Dubai luxury shops say they are missing Nigerians...Watch Video

Recession!!! Dubai luxury shops say they are missing Nigerians

Before now, malls like this in Dubai usually witness an influx of Nigerians

– Dubai luxury shops are feeling the absence of Nigerians in their stores

– Nigerians have stayed away mainly because of a weaker naira and higher airfares

– Nigerians are cutting down on expenses in order to cope with the recession

A report by Business Day has revealed that Nigerians have largely stayed away from luxury shops in Dubai due to the recession ravaging the country.

According to the report, Nigerians who typically buy huge volumes of luxury goods such as gold, assorted jewelries, wristwatches, clothes, fabrics, shoes and electronics are cutting down on their expenses as a result of the economic downturn, dollar scarcity and high air fares.

“Before now, purchases from Nigerians made up about 18 percent of our market share, but it has dropped to about eight percent this year.

“I tell you the truth, we really miss Nigerians here and we hope things get better so that they can shop again as they used to,” Bilal Chaouch, sales manager, Paul Smith, a unisex luxury fashion clothing outfit told Business Day in Dubai.

Chaouch further explained that between the months of September and November, the fashion outfit buys clothes in bulk, in anticipation of the influx of Nigerians who come in to shop for the festive period.

He however lamented that this year has been different, as Nigerians are nowhere to be found, leading to a sharp drop in demand.

“We hope the government in Nigeria will help provide dollars for Nigerians to come and shop here as they use to do. We hope things get better because patronage by Nigerians has been part of our success story,” he added.

On her part, Johanna Pascual, sales manager, Accessorize, a luxury accessory shop in Dubai equally echoed the sentiments of Chaouch.

She explained that Nigerians often bought accessories in large quantities but there has been a sharp drop in sales of accessories this year because only few Nigerians have been visiting recently and those who come do not buy as much as they used to.

Her words: “I always believed Nigerians were very rich people because when they came to buy gold, they always bought in large quantities and paid immediately. But that has changed now. We have not sold as much as we sold accessories by this time last year.”

Also speaking on the issue, Gilbert, a sales representative of Timex, a wristwatch brand at the Dubai shopping mall said he has observed a sharp drop in demand from Nigerians for luxury brands.

The bilateral trade volume between Nigeria and UAE which surged to almost $1 billion in the first quarter of 2015, has dwindled to to less than $900 million on the account of economic downturn in Nigeria.

Before now, Dubai, which accounts to over 80 percent of the Nigerian-UAE trade volume, hosted over 300,000 Nigerian visitors annually, 60 percent of whom were holiday makers, 30 percent for business, while education and healthcare shared the remaining 10 percent, according to the data from Dubai Tourism.

However, with the economic downturn, less than 200,000 Nigerians have visited Dubai in the last 10 months. The figure is expected to decline further if the economic downturn persists.

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Meanwhile, a recent media report indicates that hundreds of Nigerian traders have flooded a frog market in Kano as businessmen and women continue to find alternatives to survive the economic downturn.

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