Qatar leads in luxury spending in the GCC

UAE still number one Middle Eastern destination for luxury shopping
Qatar leads in luxury spending in the GCC
4. CREDIT CARDS: Credit card data from the Middle East is considered to be of less value than counterparts in other countries. Indeed, European cards are considered the most valuable with, European cards tending to have higher credit limits. On the other hand, many Euro cards are deemed highly secure because they use a chip-and-PIN with signature system.
By Lubna Hamdan
Wed 20 Apr 2016 12:54 PM

Qatar has topped the list of luxury spending among five GCC countries according to a new survey.

The survey by American Express Middle East found that residents in Qatar spend around $4,074 of their monthly income on high-end products and services while residents in the UAE spend around $2,300 of their income on the same.

It also found that UAE residents spend the most in categories such as holidays and fine dining but that personal wellness would become their top luxury spending priority in the next 12 months.

In addition, the research, which interviewed residents in the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait with annual incomes of $75,000 or higher, found that the UAE still ranked the number one Middle Eastern destination for luxury shopping, with 43% of respondents naming Dubai as their favourite place to shop for luxury items, followed by Abu Dhabi, Doha and Kuwait City.

However, it found signs of slowdown in consumer spending and behaviour with 18% of UAE residents spending less in 2015 and 66% of all respondents spending more on food and drink to consume at home and 69% spending more on household items.

“Despite the economic headwinds across the region, our research shows little slowdown in the volume of spending but we have seen a pretty significant redistribution in how people are spending their disposable income,” said Mazin Khoury, Chief Executive Officer, American Express Middle East. “It is evident that people are spending more cautiously and are focusing more on essentials,” he continued.

As for Bahrain, 55% of its residents spent less on dining out in 2015 and 62% spent more on eating at home. In Oman, 88% spent more on food and drinks for home and 41% cut back on socialising.

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