- Almost 90% of UAE residents surveyed are concerned about global market volatility and rising inflation
- While price increases have been noted across most retail categories, 16% of consumers have reported an increase in spending compared to 2021
- Despite concerns, UAE consumers do not expect to reduce their spending over the next six months
UAE consumer spending power remains strong despite concerns about the global macro-economic environment. This is according to research by leading management consulting firm, Kearney, exploring consumer sentiment and purchasing habits. 88% of those surveyed highlighted concerns about global market volatility and rising inflation, and 83% noted an increase in the prices of goods purchased over the last three months.
Price increases were felt most in food and beverage (85%), transport including gas prices (77%), restaurants and hotels (72%), clothing and footwear (70%) and electronics (68%). However, despite concerns and noticeable price hikes, consumers do not expect their spending to be impacted with over half (56%) planning on making a major household purchase (AED 1,000+) in the next six months.
“Overall, the country’s strong economic foundation and continued favorable policy changes towards business and individuals have given consumers the confidence in their purchasing power, regardless of the macroeconomic environment. UAE residents, in fact, have reported an increase in spending on non-essential items compared to 2021 (16%) reinforcing this, and we anticipate that this trend will continue into the new year,” commented Debashish Mukherjee, Partner, Kearney Middle East.
Online purchasing remains a popular channel for UAE shoppers, mainly due to the ease of purchase (66%), saving money (62%), variety (51%) and ease of delivery (48%). When it comes to shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, the importance of the in-store experience and convenience increased by 36% and 26% respectively, compared to 2021.
“During and post-pandemic, many retailers adopted an omnichannel approach to ensure that the business impact was cushioned. With online shopping also on a steady rise, retailers now more than ever need to build stronger brand connections and offer new, more engaging in-store experiences.” added Mohammed Dhedhi, Partner, Kearney Middle East.
“By closely monitoring the evolving face of retail and adapting their strategies, key stakeholders in the retail sector can capitalize on this positive, local sentiment. This will ensure that they stay relevant and engaged with consumer needs to remain competitive,” concluded Mukherjee.