Dubai Retailers In Chinese Push

Luxury retailers in the emirate are hiring Cantonese and Mandarin speaking staff to cater to Chinese visitors.

Major retailers in Dubai have now started employing Cantonese and Mandarin speaking staff to cater to the rising number of visitors from China.

Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates said that it was witnessing an influx of tourists – particularly Chinese – across its portfolio of high-fashion brand stores.

According to retailers, most of the Chinese visitors target luxury products including branded leather goods, handbags, footwear, and specialised beauty products not available in China.

Tanya Atkinson, general manager of luxury retailer Harvey Nichols – Dubai said: “Chinese tourists are seeking the most internationally recognisable brand names in the store, such as Armani Collezioni, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Coach, Dolce&Gabbana, Gucci, and more.

“They are an important focus, and during key travel period for Chinese tourists we employ a Chinese speaking team member to greet arriving shoppers,” she said.

“In addition, the Harvey Nichols – Dubai visual merchandising team includes Chinese language signs at key touch points throughout the store,” said Atkinson.

Several other stores in the mall also confirmed that they have hired Cantonese and Mandarin speaking staff to serve the Chinese demographic.

Over the past three years, the mall has experienced a “year on year increase, with Chinese tourists accounting for approximately 20 per cent of customers,” said a Mall of the Emirates luxury retailer.

“We are continuing to witness a steady rise in tourists visiting the mall. Therefore, we’ve developed specific tourism initiatives to cater to visitors needs, and ensure that they have the best experience possible during their stay in Dubai,” said Fuad Sharaf, senior asset director, Asset Management, Shopping Malls.

Last month, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) said that since January this year, the emirate had registered a 27 per cent increase in the number of hotel guests from China, recording a total of 193,000 stays.

Chinese tourists are now among the top 20 demographics visiting Dubai, said DTCM.

Earlier this year, Dubai Duty Free had also announced that it would boost its proportion of Chinese staff this year in a bid to further tap the Chinese shopper market.