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A survey by Arabian Business found that 64 percent of expatriates avoided shopping in the tax-free emirate in favour of bulk-buying clothes and other goods in their home countries when on leave. More than 90 percent of those polled said they considered cosmetics, clothes and electronics to be more expensive in Dubai when compared with the UK and US.
More than half said prices were between 10 and 20 percent higher. A foreign worker from Scotland said she regularly felt over-charged by franchise branches of stores that are branded as bargain fashion chains in their domestic markets. And there are very few offers in stores. High prices of retail goods have long been a complaint among Dubai expatriates, with many accusing shop-owners of neglecting American and British shoppers in their pricing policies.
In UK clothing store River Island, operated by franchise partner Alshaya, several items reviewed by Arabian Business were found to be significantly more expensive in Dubai than in Britain. Analysts said the gap in costs could be partly a reflection of the franchise model that dominates the GCC retail markets, and allows local partners to choose the price point of the goods. The question you have to ask is: The second reason is speed to market. We stock product in Dubai in the same week as you will find in London flagship stores and clearly the air freight costs required to achieve this are higher than the slower route of shipping goods by sea.
Other retailers said price discrepancies in the GCC markets were determined by the manufacturers. Jumbo Electronics said its costs were dictated by the specific brands. Store managers in Areej, a regional cosmetics chain owned by Al Tayer in the Gulf, also blamed the global brands for high costs. According to one shop assistant, make-up names Estee Lauder and La Prairie had recently instructed all Dubai cosmetics stores to increase retail prices to end users.
Estee Lauder admitted to amending its SRP suggested retail price on occasion, but said retailers had final say over what the end user was charged. We only make suggestions and they are the same across all stores. Thu 08 Dec Subscribe to our Newsletter. Now you can pawn your car 02 Apr Nakheel reveals plan to develop first project outside Dubai 02 Apr Dubai Police investigate social media slander against Indian jewellery firm 02 Apr Dubai Chamber launches retail group to raise standards 12 Mar New cheap food app aims to cut Dubai waste 21 Mar Dubai shopping mall unveils new retail strategy for 28 Mar