The capital may be teeming with shiny new stores sporting the latest electronics, fashion and home-ware collections, but throughout the year, it is the everyday discount markets that see the greatest consumer footfall.
Most of these outlets feature a variety of items at extremely affordable prices. While some products are priced as low as Dh1, most items cost between Dh5 and Dh30.
But it is not just the prices that attract customers; the other draw is that the stores feature a range of products — from bedding to garments, and crockery to skincare.
Despite the regional economic slowdown, the capital saw a number of new discount markets open their doors this summer in downtown Abu Dhabi.
Abdussubhan Megoon, 24, a sales associate from India, was buying socks from a recently opened two-storey discount market on Zayed the First Street.
“I find the quality to be good, and the price is cheap too. I find out other shops charge much more for almost the same kind of product,” Megoon, who takes home Dh3,000 every month, said.
The large collection of products also makes shopping convenient.
Beauty products for women are aplenty at the discount markets, which draw their fair share of the fairer sex.
Contrary to popular perception, it is not just low income-earners who frequent discount markets. Many expats prefer to pick up gifts for friends and family, especially as buying many items does not require a huge outlay of cash.
“We’re leaving for our annual vacation on Thursday, and coming to a discount market is perfect when you want gifts for family and friends,” said 38-year-old graphic designer Sree Kumar, who was out shopping with his wife and one-year-old son. The family has an average monthly earning of Dh10,000.
“We find everything here, from our household items to electronics and personal products. Today, we are here to get perfumes, watches, clothes and toys,” said Kumar’s 27-year-old wife, Anju. She works as a nurse at a private hospital in the capital.
Apart from residents, visitors too hunt for bargains at Abu Dhabi’s discount outlets.