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Mon 20 Jul 2009 02:10 PM

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Recession forces half of UAE households to cut back spending

Some 43% of households have cut down expenditure in response to downturn.

Almost half of UAE residents have cut down their household expenditure in response to the global financial crisis a Middle Eastern study has found.

Some 43 percent of UAE households who took part in the survey said they had reduced their outgoings – the highest cut among the countries surveyed.

The survey by YouGov and the online job website Bayt.com found that on average only 30% of professionals cut down on their household spending.

“In similar research over the past six months, we have seen that UAE consumers are cutting back considerably on their spending,” said Nassim Ghrayeb, CEO of YouGov in the MENA region.

“Now, despite some signs of optimism at the grass roots level in the global economy, it seems the trend of being more price-conscious looks set to continue, at least in the short-term.”

The most common reason for reducing household spending was the recession, with job losses named as the second most common reason.

The UAE’s figures were the highest in terms of cutting down spending due to job losses, with 45% saying this was the case. In Kuwait the number was 44%, and in Egypt it was 41%.

The ‘Surviving the Recession’ study was carried out to better understand how the global recession has impacted consumer spending and savings, YouGov said.

Some 12,908 people from across the UAE, Saudi, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Pakistan took part in the survey, conducted online between May 26 and June 28.

“The recession naturally leads to a dearth in liquidity, which is made very clear by the fact that so many residents in the region have limited their spending,” said Amer Zureikat, Bayt.com’s regional manager. “By conducting this study, we are shedding light on the extent of these limitations and how, overall, people feel they are dealing with the situation.”

The study also asked people about their finances both before and during the recession. The majority of people said they felt worse about their financial position now.

In the UAE 41% of respondents said they felt financially better off than their peers, while only 25 percent made the same statement now.

When asked about the reason for this change in their financial health 48 percent of respondents in the UAE said it was due to losing their job, and 23 percent said it was due to a cut in salary.

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Christine 11 years ago

I use to live there a few months back but due to the recession,I had to go but I would love to come back to Dubai when everything is settled. The question is when? I wanted to invest there but it was way to risky. I have a friend that just had to go and left debts there. What happens to them if they decided to visit ? So many people that had to go through this but there was no other option I guess. I really hope that it does get better because I would love to come back and as well invest there for my family.