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Affluent conversation, Part I

Affluent conversation, Part I

Luxury is a “national obsession” in the UAE, say advertising industry analysts, adding that to push posh products, marketers must make consumers feel special. Part I

December 21, 2008 2:25 by

With the luxury consumer getting younger (the average age of Hummer owners in Kuwait is 22), conspicuous consumption takes hold, and flashy Hummer-as-monster ads replace the old school elegance favored by the likes of Davidoff cigarettes. This opens up new demographics for luxury marketers in the region, and as the young and rich hold sway, they broadcast their newly won status. “Not only do they have a Lamborghini, they have a lime green Lamborghini,” says McClelland.

And not to put too fine a point on things, there are simply a lot of good old-fashioned millionaires running around. Consulting firm Capgemini Group estimates that the UAE experienced a 15 percent growth rate in the number of high net worth individuals (aka, rich people) in 2007.

Then in the fall of 2008, global financial markets went into chaos. Bad lending policy resulted in the collapse of several powerful financial institutions. The ensuing global economic meltdown has seen stock markets tumble, and surviving institutions becoming wary of lending, with confidence in the market plummeting. The lack of liquidity meant a decline in global consumer spending, with a commodity like oil declining in price, as people tighten their belts.

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