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Emirati teens struggling by on $130 a week…
Teenagers in the UAE, who get 20 times more pocket money than their Egyptian counterparts, are the most pampered in the world, according to a study by AMRB MENA.
April 18, 2010 4:05 by AMRB MENA
Not surprisingly, importance accorded to religion was high. However, their aspirations were similar to global teens – in terms of either goods or brands. In fact, Middle East teens matched or exceeded their global counterparts in ownership of the most desirable durables. This is less true of Egypt, of course.
From teen to iTeen
Today’s Middle Eastern teen belongs to the iPhone/iPod generation as much as elsewhere – most teens in the region own mobile phones; even in Egypt seven in 10 teens own a mobile phone. Interestingly, aspiration to own a smartphone was much higher in the UAE and Saudi Arabia than even in Western countries – again, probably a function of wealth.
In terms of mobile phone brands, Nokia emerged as a clear leader – but it was interesting to note that preference among teens in the UAE and Saudi Arabia for Sony Ericsson (a brand that focuses more on audio visual functions) was somewhat higher than for Samsung.
Emirati and Saudi teens spend a lot of time online – seven-eight hours a week, using chat services and social networks. These services are used slightly more than email – perhaps an indication that in future this generation might view email in the same way as adults today view snail mail.
Given the online behavior of teens, it’s no wonder that Facebook is a favorite.
Teens and fashion
Fashion and personal grooming is as important in Middle Eastern teens’ lives as it is to teens everywhere, perhaps because it is about self-expression, freedom, confidence, individuality and attractiveness. As much money as possible is spent on it, and Middle Eastern teens are no different.
For most Middle Eastern teens, being well dressed is about having a wide variety of fashionable, quality clothing.
UAE teens, being the most advanced, are the fashionistas of the Middle East. One in three deem it important to be on top of trends as portrayed in fashion magazines. They are pushing against conservative social norms, with more open abayas and well-styled locks of hair peeping through their hijabs.