Bargain reports and analytics

Black Friday in the eyes of Emiratis

PicodiNovember 12, 2019

Every year, thousands of sale lovers look forward to the end of November. This is when Black Friday, the biggest shopping craze of the year, takes place. Retailers have been preparing for months to finally, on 29th November, unveil the best promotions and discounts for their clients.

Originally, Black Friday used to be known only in the United States. However, in the last few years, the event has spread to other continents, including our country. Emiratis have welcomed with opened arms the opportunity to participate in huge sales and make great savings.

In which part of the United Arab Emirates is Black Friday the most popular? What are the differences in attitudes toward sales among men and women? How much money are Emiratis willing to spend and on which products? Where and when do Emirati consumers shop? analysts look closer into the Black Friday phenomenon and answer these questions.

The king of all sales

Customer recognition

Black Friday is not the only shopping holiday in November. Although still not as prominent in the UAE, in many countries Singles’ Day is celebrated on November 11th. Named after the multiple “one” numbers in the date, representing people who are single, Singles’ Day originated in China. The high discounts offered on that day attract huge crowds, especially in Asia.

The survey conducted by shows that Black Friday clearly rules in the UAE. Among respondents who took part in one of November shopping holidays, 57 per cent participated in Black Friday sales. 31 per cent took advantage of both Black Friday and Singles’ Day. Merely 12 per cent answered that they took part in Singles’ Day only.

Shopping boom in Arab cities

Sales leaders

Although Black Friday is celebrated throughout the UAE, in some cities people anticipate it more than in others. With the internal data from, we found cities where an increase of visits in online stores was the largest (compared to an ordinary Friday).

The biggest increase of interest in Black Friday sales was noted among citizens of Ras Al-Khaimah. Black Friday has also gained significant popularity among residents of Ajman and Abu Dhabi, who took the second and third place respectively. Surprisingly, Dubai landed in fourth place, followed by Sharjah.

Male versus female shoppers

Profile of an average Emirati consumer

Black Friday sales are popular among both male and female citizens of the UAE. As much as 70 per cent of female respondents are going to take part in Black Friday — it is only 2 percentage points less than male shoppers.

Women purchase more products: 5.6 in comparison with 4.7 bought by men. Paradoxically, men spend more money than women on Black Friday. An average woman is willing to spend around 760 AED, while an average man around 1096 AED.

The reason behind such a difference may be the fact that on Black Friday a top category of products bought by men is electronics. Other than that, both male and female shoppers chose clothing and shoes as their top purchases.

Black Friday is all about the promotions. In this case as well, men and women have separate preferences. The surveyed women choose a discount coupon or code as their favourite type of promotion. The second place takes a lower discount on an entire range of products, and a higher discount on selected products is in the third place. On the other hand, men’s favourite promotion is a higher discount on selected products. It is followed by a lower discount on an entire range of products and then a discount coupon.

No time to lose

Best time and place for shopping

The popularity of online shopping is rising year after year, especially because of events such as Black Friday or Singles’ Day. One-third of the surveyed Emiratis (36 per cent) are going to shop online on Black Friday. The majority of respondents (56 per cent) decided to shop in both online and offline stores. Only 1 out of 10 Emiratis are going to shop exclusively in brick-and-mortar stores.

One of the reasons against shopping in malls is having to wait in lines. Although in the UAE the situation is not as extreme, in some countries, special tutorials are created on how to endure the neverending queuing on Black Friday. Nevertheless, not everyone is willing to waste their time standing in line. Among Emirati respondents, as much as 33 per cent of women and 26 per cent of men declare that they would rather give up on purchasing a product than wait in line.

Those who decide to place orders online do not have to worry about queues and can shop around-the-clock. On the Emirati Internet, peaks of shopping activity fall at 2 and 9 PM. Consumers make purchases at home, during the commute, or even at work — 69 per cent of surveyed Emiratis admitted that they buy while working.


The report is based on archival statistical data of the platform, as well as a survey conducted on behalf of between 9-20 October 2019.

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