In the UAE, restaurant spending frequency in the country was nearly 30 per cent higher in September 2022 than in September 2019 Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: As the world counts down to the beginning of 2023, UAE's economic outlook for the New Year looks positive, according to a study by Mastercard Economics Institute. More jobs are on the horizon in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the report released in December stated.

The report also analysed the spending patterns of customers in the UAE. UAE consumers are shopping more and dining more in frequency, but are spending less per visit. The study found that globally, grocery shoppers made 31 per cent more trips to the store this year compared to 2019, but spent 9 per cent less per visit.

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Affluent shoppers, however, increased their spend on discretionary or non-essential purchases, at a rate double that of lower-income households.

In the UAE, restaurant spending frequency in the country was nearly 30 per cent higher in September 2022 than in September 2019, but the average spent amount was nearly 20 per cent lower. 

Jobs in the region

Aviation and hospitality sectors are reportedly amping up the hiring process. Dubai-based carriers Emirates and fly dubai said they would be focusing on hiring more people In anticipation of a record come-back for the travel and tourism industry next year.

Also in demand are candidates for tech-focussed roles in sectors such as IT, pharmaceuticals, and engineering, hiring platform Techfynder said based on their data.

Techfynder’s report added that the tech sector is one of the most in-demand currently in Dubai, while accounting and retail were amongst the top-most hiring sectors in Abu Dhabi. Engineering, logistics and manufacturing also topped the list in Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Ajman, and Umm Al Quwain, their numbers showed.

Phygital may rule?

The report found that retailers would benefit the most by having 'omnichannel' presence. For food businesses, being present on multiple channels made over 30 per cent of additional sales, that they wouldn't have done with just a physical restaurant.

Clothing stores showed the same trend, the report showed. Having both physical and online presence saw that small stores were able to grow at faster rates that digital-only and physical only stores - by 10 and 26 per cent respectively. Giving credence to this data is the fact that many phygital (physical and digital) stores opened in the region this year. was one such brand that combined their best online benefits with a physical storefront in Dubai. Given the UAE's commitment to technological advancement across sectors, it is clear why businesses would stand to benefit by choosing the UAE for their phygital spaces.

Taking advantage of this interest, Polish firm Nanovo - which specialises in creating shopping spaces that seamlessly integrate the physical and digital world, and helped 6thStreet launch their first store - opened a regional branch in the UAE.

The report also looked at housing spending and food prices. In odds with the global outlook for 2023, in the UAE, housing-related spend remained at the same levels (5.9 per cent) in 2022 as in 2019. This was the case in other EMEA countries, including Saudi Arabia (10.9 per cent).

In major developed countries, the reports said housing-related spending may fall an estimated 4.5 per cent. over the course of 2023.