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Paint a picture of UAE residents

Paint a picture of UAE residents

Are we over-spenders? Are we impulsive buyers? Or are we budget conscious consumers, wary of the still-raging financial crisis worldwide? You tell us.

January 12, 2010 1:52 by

On the one hand, we have Synovate’s consumer profile. It describes UAE residents as brand hungry, impulsive over-spenders, which frankly, we can’t argue with. There are enough supercars and Gucci-clad teenagers in the country to prove that UAE residents have a spending problem (we hate to go off topic, but has anyone noticed a rise in ‘gangsta’-style mall rats dressed in Versace, calling each other homies and the n-word?).

“I think the Middle East is one of the few places today where consumers are not feeling burdened by the economic situation and happy to spend,” Luca Solca, a luxury research analyst with Sanford C Bernstein in London, told The National.

On the other hand, we have Datamonitor’s description, which is of budget conscious consumers, who’re slightly more wary of the world beyond the UAE’s borders. They’ve developed new spending habits to cope with the current economic situation, but “once we return to prosperity,” explained Richard Adams, an analyst at Datamonitor, “this trend will play itself out gradually. But in the short term, I think it is an established trend. Consumers are looking for the best deal.”

We can’t decide which description we agree with more. Help us out.

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1 Comment

  1. Rafiq on January 14, 2010 2:18 pm


    I do not feel that the positions are contradictory. Datamonitor figures show that UAE shoppers have become more value conscious. I think their most recent figures showed that around 40% of UAE shoppers were looking around for best price all or most of the time. However they have also stated that while UAE shoppers are value conscious they are reluctant to compromise on quality.

    UAE consumers are still brand hungry. That is not up for dispute. But are they willing to pay the same prices for those brands? I think consumers are being more cautious. People want sales.

    And Luca Solca is talking about the Middle East broadly. We all know that Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Kuwait are doing well. But Dubai? Dubai is struggling! And what is the UAE’s largest city?



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