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Wed 18 May 2011 01:30 PM

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Emirati teens are biggest global spenders, poll shows

Young adults in the UAE splash $103 a week, nearly four times the global average

Emirati teens are biggest global spenders, poll shows
Emirati girls were the biggest spenders in the UAE, while boys had higher outgoings in Saudi Arabia and Egypt

Emirati teenagers fritter away more than $100 a week on goods and services, nearly four times as much as their global peers, a survey has found.

The ‘Global Teen study-MENA edition 2011’, compiled by AMRB and global research company TRU, found the average Emirati teenager spends $103 a week on personal expenditure.

Young adults in oil-rich Saudi Arabia, the Gulf’s wealthiest state, spend around $56 a week by comparison while teenagers in Egypt fork out just $7 a week.

Emirati girls were leading the charge in the UAE, while boys were the biggest spenders in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Globally, a teenager’s average weekly financial spend was $28.

Driving the wave of consumerism is the demand for mobile phones, iPods, game consoles and other gadgets, in addition to the day-to-day spending on clothes and entertainment, said Gagan Bhalla, CEO of Dubai-based AMRB

“Getting to know the spending habits of teens shows the great power they have as consumers. MENA teens in particular are some of the biggest spenders, especially when it comes to clothing, gadgets, and entertainment,” he said.

The impact of the global recession seems to have done little to crimp spending habits in the Middle East and North Africa, with teens reporting they expected to spend more in 2011.

In the UAE, 62 percent of respondents said outgoings would increase in 2011, while 74 percent of Saudi teens plan to up their expenditure this year.

“Despite the difference in affluence levels, the focus in the region is on ‘consumption’ rather than ‘conservation’ – even the Egyptian, who don’t have much money, want to spend more next year,” Bhalla said. “The concept of saving is not instilled into youth from a young age and this could potentially be an alarming situation during economic downturns.”

The MENA arm of the survey polled 2,000 Arab youth aged 12 to 19 years.

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Kat 8 years ago

I love the use of the word 'fritter', couldn't have put it better myself.

Billy 8 years ago

And what lessons is this teaching the young Emirati teens? Unemployment amongst this same group is a major issue so if they don't get a job how will they support this by then ingrained spending habbit? Even weathly parents have a duty to instill ideas of conservation, saving, moderation and an understanding of the value of money if their kids stand any chance of helping their country to recover.