Dubai luxury shops are feeling the absence of Nigerians who have been kept away from their usual travels to Asia’s shopping capital by a weaker naira and higher airfares, a report by Business Day has revealed.
Nigerians who typically buy huge volumes of luxury goods such as gold and assorted jewelleries and wristwatches as well as clothes, fabrics, shoes , other accessories 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 BusinessDay in Dubai.
Johanna Pascual, sales manager, Accessorize, a luxury accessory shop in Dubai also said she is missing the patronage from Nigerians. Pascual 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.
“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,” Pascual disclosed.
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 Dubai attraction has lost its shine as Nigerians now struggle at the airports to get dollars to travel unlike before when they could easily travel with the cards and shop in over 200 countries around the world.