Residents across the UAE are increasingly making choices which reduce their impact on the environment, and pledging to lead more sustainable lives in 2022.

New research has shown that businesses have also taken note of this trend and have tailored their products and services to be more eco-friendly.

According to a recent survey conducted by Censuswide, on behalf of Ariel Middle East, a region-wide drive towards a greener future has meant that environmentally friendly lifestyle choices are high on the agenda for UAE residents. The results of the survey revealed that 83 per cent of people in the UAE are aware of their environmental footprint, and the impact of their purchasing choices on the planet. The survey also shows that four in ten people plan to make more sustainable choices for the rest of 2022, with 35 to 44-year olds being the biggest age group in the UAE who aspires to be more sustainable.

In addition, 80 per cent say that they are actively trying to influence friends and family to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. However, whilst there is a lot of eagerness to be more eco-conscious, the results also found that 35 per cent of respondents feel that there is a distinct lack of sustainable products on the market to support this need, with a further 31 per cent admitting a lack of awareness when it comes to adopting more sustainable habits. One in five even confess that they simply don’t know where to start.

Norma Taki, PwC Middle East’s Consumer Markets leader, explained that a range of factors, from mass remote working to tech-driven regional transformation, have changed and continue to change consumer shopping habits and attitudes. It is clear now, she said, that these changes are here to stay.

The latest edition of PwC’s Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey showed that Middle East shoppers are increasingly influenced by sustainability issues, and are prioritising their health and wellbeing. The survey highlights a general shift in consumer behaviour as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the staying power of these changes. The survey results showed that 67 per cent of Middle East shoppers believe that they are now healthier, compared to 51 per cent globally. At 65 per cent, Middle East shoppers are also more digital, versus 53 per cent globally.

They are also more likely than ever to take into account sustainability considerations when making a purchase. In fact, 60 per cent of regional respondents believe that they are more eco-friendly than six months ago and 53 per cent are always, or frequently, buying eco-friendly products, compared to 42 per cent globally.

“As consumer optimism continues to grow in the region, it is essential that retailers and consumer companies take note of these shifting trends and adapt their priorities and strategies accordingly,” said Taki.

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