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arab luxury world 2014: ‘Middle Eastern consumers spend $2,400 per month on shopping’


Nadine Touma Gammage of Chalhoub Group highlights three trends that will govern the regional luxury market

June 2, 2014 3:49 by

By Nadine Sayegh

Speaking at the on-going arab luxury world conference, taking place until June 3 at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, Nadine Touma Gammage, head of market and consumer intelligence division at Chalhoub Group, reveals three main trends that are dominating the luxury sector in the Middle East.

The first trend, according to Gammage, is ‘a quest for indulgence’.

According to a Chalhoub Group survey, 94 per cent of respondents from the region go shopping ‘whenever they feel like it’ and spend an average of $2,400 per month – and this is only on select categories of fashion, beauty and gifts. Another 78 per cent notes that they make an effort to keep up with latest trends, while 76 per cent is likely to translate this further into purchases. Moreover, 74 per cent will make a purchase even if they have not planned in advance, which, according to Gammage, displays a regional addiction to shopping.

The second trend is ‘a need for recognition’.

“Obviously, in this context, iconic branding is paramount,” says Gammage, “all of a sudden, we understand its purpose and its meaning.”

Many consumers in the region have certain inclinations towards established luxury brands that are recognised instantly; 90 per cent of respondents in Riyadh say they want the brands they wear to be visible. An additional 82 per cent say when they purchase a gift, they want it to impress the recipient.

“This need for recognition will dictate particular expectations that customers will have in a store that we need to be aware of and address; from personal acknowledgement when a consumer enters the store to having staff standing in cue while the client sits in the lounge,” says Gammage.

The final trend is ‘a longing for bonds’.

“The third trend is all about interpersonal relationships, particularly in this region and the brand-customer relationship is no exception,” she adds.

She says approximately 79 per cent of respondents from the GCC region ranks their friends and families as their biggest influence on decision making.  It is, therefore, imperative to consider this, along with other facets of Arab culture, when considering the Middle Eastern luxury consumer.

This collective information shows how although luxury consumers across the globe have a number of similarities, luxury brands in the region must tailor their services to suit Middle Eastern consumers in order to increase their reach and, ultimately, profits.


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