DUBAI: Consumers in Dubai remain upbeat on the overall economy in the emirate and their personal finances with optimism largely stemming from anticipated improvement across tourism, trading and employment.
Nationals as well as expatriates shared a bright outlook in the quarterly consumer confidence survey of Dubai Economy and the overall Consumer Confidence Index stood at 139 points in the second quarter of 2019, a marginal decline of one point over the previous quarter, as 87 per cent of the survey respondents expressed satisfaction on their current personal finances. While 80 per cent of the respondents were positive on their personal finances over the next 12 months the proportion of confident expatriates was higher at 86 per cent.
The Consumer Confidence Index is an initiative of Dubai Economy, launched to enhance transparency in the local business and investment environment. It also helps to provide businesses and investors with relevant data to support their future plans and enable them launch new projects, services and products for consumers in Dubai.
Mohammed Ali Rashed Lootah, CEO of the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection, CCCP, sector at Dubai Economy, said the Consumer Confidence Index for the second quarter of 2019 reflected the optimism prevailing among different consumer segments and added that the index is an important tool for enabling Dubai’s sustainable growth by proactively addressing challenges.
“The Consumer Confidence Index and its indicators help understand consumer needs. The Index reveals how consumers respond to available economic data, which in turn plays a crucial role in determining consumption patterns and future trends crucial to traders and investors in making decisions. Informed decisions help them reach all target groups, thus contributing to sustaining the trade and retailing in Dubai and the UAE,” Lootah added.
The survey showed that among UAE nationals, 88 per cent were optimistic about their personal financial situation in the next 12 months. The proportion of consumers who rated their current personal physical conditions as excellent and good was slightly higher in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the previous quarter. Almost half of the citizens see excellent chances of getting a job in the next 12 months and 27 per cent of expatriates expressed similar sentiments.
On buying things they need and want, 18 per cent rated the current prices as ‘excellent’. while 60 per cent described it as ‘good’. The percentage of consumers who felt the time is ‘excellent/good’ to make purchases remained almost the same (89 per cent) during the first two quarters of 2019.
Emaratis were more optimistic than expatriates about the state of the economy during the second quarter and overall, perceptions slightly declined compared to the first quarter. The state of the economy was described as ‘excellent’ by 23 per cent consumers while 45 per cent called it ‘good.’
The main drivers of the positive perception was improving trade and tourism, while the lack of job opportunities (80 per cent) and the lack of increase in salary (82 per cent) were the main pulldown factors even when improved job opportunities and higher salaries were foreseen by a segment of those surveyed. Along with the trade and tourism boom, increased advertising, higher profits, and rising rents/ real estate prices were cause for optimism on the economy for many.
Job security was the biggest concern for the respondents in the second quarter of 2019, followed by the economy while political stability in other Arab countries, work-life balance, high prices, increased utility bills, health, global warming, and children’s education were also among the concerns cited.
Technology upgradation was not on the list for almost 51 per cent of consumers in the second quarter of 2019 chiefly due to budget constraints. Cost-cutting measures under consideration as mentioned by respondents included lesser spending on holidays/vacation/leisure activities as well as new clothes, postponing home refurbishing plans, rationalising gas and electricity consumption, switching to cheaper grocery, and looking for best options on home loans, insurance and credit cards.