• 42% of UAE consumers exhibit confidence in their spending habits, a stark contrast to the mere 22% observed globally.
  • A substantial 60% of UAE consumers anticipate an improvement in their financial situation shortly, contrasting with the 37% reported in global markets.
  • In the UAE, 84% of consumers advocate for brands to be accountable to consumers, surpassing the global figure of 80%.
  • A significant 63% of UAE consumers acknowledge that the increasing cost of living is affecting their health and well-being, contrasting with the global rate of 47%.

Dubai, UAE - Toluna, a leading global market research, consumer insights, technology, and consulting group, released its Global Consumer Barometer Wave 24 report, unveiling striking disparities in consumer sentiment and spending behaviors between the UAE and global markets.

In a world where caution mingles with hope, the UAE emerges as a beacon of optimism, with 60% of UAE consumers expressing anticipation for an improvement in their finances over the next three months, in contrast to the global figure of 37%. Moreover, 42% of UAE consumers show confidence in spending money, a notable surge compared to 22% globally.

The universal impact of the cost-of-living crisis reverberates across borders, with 69% of UAE consumers deferring significant expenditures until economic stability prevails, mirroring the global sentiment at 66%. To manage their finances, UAE consumers exhibit prudence, with 53% prioritizing savings and 42% resorting to cash payments to rein in spending.

To manage their finances, UAE consumers are prioritizing cutbacks on social activities and luxury items, with 35% opting to reduce spending on luxury products or services, 27% on going out to eat or drink, and 34% on ordering takeout. This reflects a notable shift towards health and well-being priorities, as evidenced by 65% of UAE consumers pledging to focus more on their health and 74% advocating for better availability of healthy food and drink options. On the spending front, UAE consumers allocate increased budgets for groceries (56%), and personal care products (49%), while luxury goods face a downturn, reflecting shifting consumer priorities amidst economic uncertainties

Despite economic headwinds, UAE consumers remain resolute, with 63% expecting to fare better financially in the coming months. Yet, the specter of the energy crisis looms large, impacting spending plans for 69% of UAE consumers.

Key Insights

Globally, consumers remain cautious yet hopeful. The outlook is much more positive in UAE: 43% of global consumers feel very satisfied with their lives (stable vs. last wave and last year) compared to 60% in UAE.

Environmental, Social, and Ethical Considerations

Nine in ten in UAE say brands being socially responsible is equally or more important to them now, despite the current economic situation versus three in four globally. Moreover, 84% in the UAE believe that brands should be accountable to consumers versus 80% globally and 76% want to choose brands based on environmental and social factors, but don’t have enough information versus 64%.

Consumer Health and Well-being

63% of UAE consumers agree that the rising cost of living is impacting their health and well-being versus 47% globally, whereas 80% are looking for more cost-effective solutions for health, wellness, and fitness. On the same note, 84% of consumers in UAE agree that food and drink brands should offer more healthy options, 82% advised that Brands should provide better information on the health & well-being implications of their products, and

Elaborating on the findings, Georges Akkaoui, Regional Director, Middle East and Africa at Toluna stated: “The findings from our Global Barometer Wave 24 report underscore a significant paradigm shift in consumer behavior and priorities, particularly in the UAE market. As financial pressures continue to influence consumer behavior, brands must keep insights at the forefront of their decisions, ensuring they evolve with shifting consumer sentiment. Consumers are making deliberate choices to manage their finances, evident in their reduced spending on social activities and luxury items. What's particularly striking is the growing emphasis on health and well-being, with a substantial proportion of UAE consumers expressing a desire for healthier options and greater transparency from brands. This presents a unique opportunity for brands to not only meet but exceed consumer expectations by aligning their offerings with these evolving needs to drive meaningful engagement that resonates long-term”.


About Toluna

Toluna is a leading consumer insights, technology, panel, and market research consultancy provider.

We own the industry’s first end-to-end, single login, real-time consumer intelligence platform, Toluna Start, which automates research and provides reliable consumer insights with speed and quality. Toluna Start can be used across market understanding (including U&A), brand health tracking, all the new product development stages and creative testing, online communities (qual focus groups), with results displayed instantly in flexible dashboards set up for deep data analysis.

  • Toluna has proprietary online panels in 90+ markets with 72 M+ highly engaged consumers.
  • Our 2,650-strong team delivers consumer and market insights to some of the biggest global and regional brands (i.e. Amazon, Pepsico, Stellantis, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, etc.).
  • We offer our clients the means to collect data and insights in-house, with our support and consultancy where needed, or a full-service agency-style approach with flexibility and agility to meet every research need (i.e. questionnaire design, survey programming & hosting, sampling, analysis, reporting, etc).

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