Register for our free newsletter

Latest News

Emirati teens struggling by on $130 a week…

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

The MENA region has one of highest population growth rates in the world – close to 70 per cent of the population is less than 30 years of age. An important group within this young population is teens, soon-to-be-adult children who are casting off the controlling influence of their parents and starting to exercise independent decision-making. Understanding teen culture is imperative for any marketer aiming to engage with this emerging target audience.

Teen relationships

Although they enjoy their newfound independence, Middle Eastern teens still retain strong family ties – most live with their family and are quite comfortable with this arrangement. By contrast, most teens in the West look at breaking out on their own the moment they are able to.

Although family ties are undeniably strong, some of the importance accorded to it could be due to the financial support that the family provides – unlike in the West, where teens are expected to supplement their income with part-time work.

UAE teens are the most pampered – their average pocket money of $130 a week is one of the highest in the world. Saudi teens are also well off ($60). Egyptian teens get only $6 a week. Despite this, few Egyptian teens consider part-time work a means to supplement their income.

Teens in the region also spend a lot of their time with friends, either virtually (internet/phone) or in person. Nearly two-thirds of teens in Saudi Arabia and half in the UAE cite spending time with friends as a preferred way of using their free time. On average, Middle Eastern teens spend nearly two hours daily with their friends.

Teen identity

Teens in the Middle East emerged as tech savvy, fashion conscious and as comfortable with their Islamic identity as they are with Western brands.

Pages: 1 2 3

Tags: ,


  1. Miss Anne Thropic on April 19, 2010 11:33 am

    And I am guessing that given the prevalence of maids and nannies here, these kids don’t have to actually do any chores around the house to earn their $130….

  2. Andrew on April 21, 2010 10:35 am

    I remember being truly delighted if I got the equivalent of $40 a week, and that was only the last 2 years before university. Needless to say I also worked my summers when back home on “holiday”.

  3. Miss Anne Thropic on April 25, 2010 12:50 pm

    I’m still not used to the sight of being served at McDonalds or Pizza Hut by someone who is not a student, either high school or university.

  4. Yousif on May 26, 2010 12:30 pm

    Miss & Andrew…

    don’t feel envious.. In the long run, you are not the losers in this, the spoilt teenagers are.. the $130 will eventually run out, then this generation of arabs will become miserable, and won’t be talented, focused or energetic enough to do a single thing about it..

    The last generation has had 40-50 years of oil wealth to draw upon to improve her society.. all we’ve improved is the cashflow to foreign workers, Global Multinational retailers’ balance sheets, and our kids’ consumerist instincts… great!!

  5. Miss Anne Thropic on May 26, 2010 4:04 pm

    True, they will lose out in the end when the oil runs out and nobody wants to do the low-paid jobs here. But if you think I envy the kids who get $130 pocket money, you are sadly mistaken. I just feel sorry for them because they are growing up not knowing the value of money and not being encouraged to develop a work ethic. I didn’t get even close to that much pocket money as a kid and had one of the happiest childhoods anyone could wish for, largely because my family’s happiness did not depend on material things.

    No jealousy here!

  6. Andrew on June 17, 2010 6:35 am

    The consumerism and materialism is one thing that didn’t truly exist in this country when I first arrived here, in so far as it existed no more than it does anywhere.

    However the way things have changed in the last 10 years, and certainly the last 5, has made start to re-evaluate my priorities and long-term plans. I’m happy to stay here for a few more years until the global recession is fully over, but after that I intend to go.

  7. emjay on November 22, 2010 12:55 am

    What is most disgusting about these overly pampered Land Cruising chauvanists is their lack of respect for their environment.

    A recent trip to the the UAE, I found scores of them parked on the side of the highways and enjoying themselves with whatever they do in the desert. Passing the same spot the next day, you could tell where they had been by the loads of rubbish left behind. Looked absolutely ghastly.
    Maybe they expect the poor migrants to pick up their trash even when in the desert.


Leave a Comment