Dubai rides high on consumer confidence

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Latest findings of a survey suggest that consumers in Dubai are more confident about the economy, thanks to improved job prospects and personal finance position.

Dubai rides high on consumer confidence
People enjoy skating on the ice rink in Dubai Mall. Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammad is pictured in the background.

Positive consumer sentiment has grown by 16 percentage points between the last quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, from 74 percent to 90 percent. The cumulative sentiment towards anticipating a strong economic performance in 2013 rose by 6 percentage points from 89 percent in the last quarter of 2012 to 95 percent. Overall Consumer Confidence Index for the first quarter of 2013 remains constant at 135 points, from the last quarter. A meager 13 percent of the respondents reported they were concerned about the economy. In the last quarter of 2012 this figure was 27 percent.

Among UAE nationals 88 percent see the economy performing better during the next 12 months and optimism is slightly higher at 89 percent among Asian expatriates. An overwhelming majority of 87 percent expects to witness increased employment opportunities in 2013, while 82 percent rated current job prospects as excellent/good compared to 71 percent in the previous quarter.

“The prevailing consumer sentiment in Dubai shows an increasing level of confidence in the emirate’s ability to stimulate economic activity, create jobs and generate wealth. Dubai’s bold announcements of a strong commitment to development and pledge to make the emirate more attractive for investment and business is producing the desired results.” — Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DE

Personal finance scores high during Q1 2013 as 84 percent of consumers view their current financial situation as positive and 91% expect it to remain so over the next 12 months. Almost 80 percent of the respondents find it the best time to buy things they want. Stronger personal finances allowed the respondents to quote their preference to indulge in out-of-home entertainment and holidays, and also contribute towards personal savings. Some 51 percent of respondents said that saving is a target for 2013 and 12 percent see investing in real estate as an attractive option.

“The retail sector can look forward to sustaining the momentum it has generated in recent years through to 2013 as we can see from the prevailing consumer perceptions. Along with strong personal finance, wider choices and improved customer service quality are also major factors promoting a robust retail sector performance in Dubai.” — Omar Bushahab, Chief Executive Officer of Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in DE

Factors attributing to such a positive outlook amongst the consumers of Dubai include the thriving tourism sector which is attracting global visitors. Further, the increasing property prices couples with the rising real estate rents also indicate  a recovery from the property market collapse witnessed almost 3 years back.

However, more than half (54 percent) of respondents quoted rising cost of living as a concern. In the attempt to cut down on expenditures and save costs, 31 percent are seeking to cut down on outdoor expenses, utility charges and telephone bills, and also delay technology upgrades including phones, computers, etc. along with home refurbishments.

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