By Andy Sambidge
Gov't body says better job prospects, brighter outlook on personal finance driving optimism
Better job prospects and a brighter outlook on personal finance are driving more spending on leisure and entertainment in Dubai, according to a new survey.
The findings of the latest Consumer Confidence Survey conducted by the Department of Economic Development (DED) showed positive consumer sentiment on the current state of Dubai's economy has grown by 16 percent in the first quarter of 2013.
It said that since the final quarter of 2012, confidence has increased from 74 percent to 90 percent.
Those anticipating a strong economic performance in 2013 now constitute 95 percent, up from 89 percent in the previous quarter, it added.
Overall, the Consumer Confidence Index for the first quarter of 2013 remained at 135 points, the same as the previous quarter.
The DED survey also said Dubai's tourism sector as well as climbing real estate rents and property prices have contributed to the surge in positive perceptions.
The share of respondents expressing concerns on economy has also come down to 13 percent from 27 percent in the previous quarter.
Among UAE nationals, 88 percent see the economy performing better during the next 12 months and optimism is slightly higher at 89 percent among Asian expatriates.
Job security and political stability in the rest of the Arab world continue to be major concerns but an overwhelming majority (87 percent) expects to see better job prospects this year.
"The prevailing consumer sentiment in Dubai shows an increasing level of confidence in the emirate's ability to stimulate economic activity, create jobs and generate wealth. Dubai's bold announcements of a strong commitment to development and pledge to make the emirate more attractive for investment and business is producing the desired results," said Sami Al Qamzi, director general of DED.
"The retail sector can look forward to sustaining the momentum it has generated in recent years through to 2013 as we can see from the prevailing consumer perceptions," he added.
However, the rising cost of living is a concern for more than half of the respondents and 31 percent said they are looking at cutting down on outdoor expenses to save costs in 2013.
The Consumer Confidence Index is based on responses from 2,000 respondents.