• UAE residents are taking proactive steps to navigate economic uncertainties.

United Arab Emirates: 

Optimistic Outlook in the UAE

The latest Toluna Global Consumer Barometer offers a comprehensive view of consumer behavior in the UAE, revealing that a noteworthy 64% of consumers are optimistic about the future, outpacing the global average of 43%. The study, which included 19 markets across the globe, provides valuable insights into the preferences behaviors of consumers in UAE compared to their global counterparts.

Current Life Satisfaction and Financial Concerns

The study showed that 58% of UAE residents reported higher satisfaction with their current life and greater optimism about their future, compared to the global average of 54%, however, one-fourth of the residents expressed concerns over personal financial security due to current global and economic circumstances.

Proactive Financial Planning for Economic Uncertainties

When it comes to financial planning, UAE residents are proactively taking steps to navigate economic uncertainties. Specifically, 30% plan to cut back on spending on books and magazines, recognizing the abundance of online resources. Similarly, 30% intend to reduce expenses on luxury products or services, while 26% will trim their entertainment and subscription budgets. Additionally, 25% are opting to dine out less, 23% will be cutting back on leisure activities and hobbies, 19% plan to spend less on vacation holidays, and 21% will be reducing expenditures on beauty products.

Guiding Grocery Shopping Behavior in the UAE

Looking ahead, the study also sheds light on expected grocery shopping behavior in the next three months. For UAE consumers, 'being healthy' emerges as a key choice driver, followed by price, brands, and quality. Additionally, 47% of UAE shoppers plan to reduce unnecessary purchases, 42% will compare prices online and offline, and 34% intend to switch to more affordable supermarkets. Other strategies include shopping more often to avoid waste and get the best deals (34%), visiting more stores in search of value (33%), shopping less often but in bulk (31%), switching to cheaper brands (31%), and changing the number of snacks purchased (28%).

Impact of Energy Crisis and Inflation on Spending Plans

Moreover, a significant 71% of UAE consumers stated that the energy crisis and inflation have impacted their current spending plans. Inflation emerged as a prominent concern among consumers. Worries regarding global market instability and housing/rental prices were also expressed, with 52% highlighting the rising cost of living, 51% concerned about the instability of global/financial markets, and 50% noting house prices/values as a significant factor. Additionally, 44% of consumers are focusing on saving more money due to economic uncertainty.

"Together, these findings reflect the current economic sentiment and consumer behavior in the UAE which we have been mapping out in successive waves of our Barometer." said Georges Akkaoui, Enterprise Account Director & Office Leader MEA at Toluna, “Amidst some positive signals, it's evident that consumers are seeking value and reliability with their choices. Brands that prioritize quality, affordability, and sustainability will resonate most with today's savvy shoppers, guiding them towards a future of satisfaction and trust; yet it's crucial to acknowledge the genuine concerns surrounding financial security and the impact of global economic factors on spending patterns."

Anticipated Spending Behavior in the Next Quarter

Furthermore, the study outlines anticipated spending behavior in this quarter. Notably, 34% plan to allocate slightly more towards groceries, 24% towards mobile phones, 31% towards vitamins and minerals, 17% towards food takeaway, 23% towards sports and fitness, 22% towards life insurance, private health insurance (24%), and gaming (16%).

Note: The link below offers a comprehensive report and overview on the findings of the Barometer, Wave 23: https://bit.ly/46mK2p3

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 top Fortune 500 companies (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).