This summer, the shopping season has come early to London. With Ramadan starting in a few weeks and the British capital hosting the Olympics games later this month, the Ramadan Rush of Arab shoppers is on.
Jace Tyrel Director of Communications New West end Company Every year said, “We have this Ramadan Rush phenomenon, pre-Ramadan, a huge amount of middle eastern Arab visitors coming to London, of course, what do they love doing when they’re here? Shopping! And we love that right here at the center of the West End, Bond St, Oxford St, Regent Street, we’ve seen huge growth year on year from our Arab and Middle East visitors coming here and enjoying the best of our British brands and luxury brand from around the world.”
Tourists in London spent about 12 billion pounds last year and nearly 80 percent of that was spent by overseas visitors, that’s 9 million and four hundred thousand pounds.
And Arab visitors, are spending more each year, in 2011, Saudi shoppers spent more than 170 million pounds, that’s 72 percent more than the previous year.
And it’s not just how much Arabs are spending, it’s also about how many of them are coming to the capital. Last year the number of visitors from Saudi Arabia increased by 22 percent, while tourists from the UAE were up by nearly 10 percent. And they all favor London’s luxury retailers.
“They key countries for us are Kuwait, UAE and Saudi...Ramadan is slightly earlier so it’s absolutely crucial especially with the Olympics taking place this year, so we’re seeing a lot of people coming in, ther’s been a year on year rise, last year actually from the Saudi area we were seeing a massive rise of about 22 percent year on year, so that is a huge increase, actually the spend has also been dramatically different as well,” said Chloe Choucham, Head of Communications London and Partners.