UAE Sees Increased Spending On Entertainment And Leisure
A recent study by Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), one of the leading mall developers, found that spending on entertainment and leisure in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) increased by 29% in 2022.
MAF’s Q4 State of the UAE Retail Economy Report looked at total consumer spending in the UAE, which showed a 13% growth. Spending in other sectors such as fashion, hypermarkets and supermarkets and retail in general increased by 25%, 11% and 9% respectively.
This growth was fueled by an influx of tourists to the country, which doubled to 14 million due to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022. The United Arab Emirates also recorded the highest GDP growth since 2006, at 7.9% in 2022, compared to 3.9% in 2021.
Fourth-quarter data also showed an increase in conscious purchasing decisions, with many people seeking discounts or special offers on essential items and reducing their purchases of non-essential items such as electronics.
Hypermarkets and supermarkets saw a 3% decrease in people’s spending per shopping trip, but total spending in these stores increased by 11% compared to 2021. This means that people are buying smaller quantities more often.
The two and a half day weekend also played a key role in getting people to spend more. Weekend retail sales rose 11.3% compared to 2021. This led to additional expenses of AED 5.5 (US$ 1.5), according to the report. Another MAF survey, Happiness Lab, found that around 90% of people have a positive view of the UAE economy.
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