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Post Covid-19 shopping trends in the UAE and Saudi Arabia

Shopping behaviour among consumers is still changing even as shopping centres in the UAE and Saudi Arabia gradually return to normal, according to data by retail mapping platform GapMaps.

In the opening months of the year as the virus spread around the planet, centres in both of these countries of course experienced a quite dramatic fall in visitor numbers once the lockdown took hold. While regional and tourist destinations showed the highest drops, neighbourhood centres across Dubai and KSA actually maintained higher levels of footfall due to their convenience.

During the same time period, regional centres, which have acted like local centres during lockdown, experienced a fall in visitors within 5km. However, a trend that has become evident since mid-April suggests 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 now becoming less apparent, with guests distributing their mall visits more evenly throughout 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.