Neighbourhood shopping centres maintained higher levels of visitors due to their convenience
Shopping centres in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are gradually returning to normal operating hours, but shopping behavior among consumers is still changing, according to data by retail mapping platform GapMaps.
From January to April 2020, shopping centres in both countries experienced a dramatic fall in visitor numbers post the Covid-19 lockdowns, with regional and tourist destinations showing the highest drops, while neighbourhood centres in Dubai and KSA maintained higher levels of visitors due to their convenience.
In the same time, regional centres, which have behaved like local centres during the lockdown, experienced a fall in visitors within 5km, though an early trend evident from mid-April suggests that visitation patterns for regional and tourist locations are beginning to return to a broader regional draw.
As Dubai and Saudi Arabia emerge from lockdowns, weekend shopping peaks are less apparent, with shoppers distributing their mall visits more evenly across the week. While morning shopping became more popular, it is now returning to pre-lockdown levels, though evening shopping remains subdued largely due to curfews, according to data collected between September 2019 and April 2020.
The analysis is aimed at tracking recovery periods and understanding changes in visitation patterns for different retail types, locations and malls.
In July GapMaps will explore further trends in shopping behaviour taking into account the impact of Eid-al Fitr.