By Claire Ferris-Lay
One third of respondents say they know someone who has lost job amid real estate, banking slump.
One third of UAE residents know close friends or family who have lost their jobs in the last three months as a result of the global economic downturn, according to a report published on Monday.
Market research firm YouGovSiraj’s latest poll, Reality Check – UAE, also revealed that 50 percent of UAE residents are concerned about the security of their jobs
Concern over job losses is especially accentuated in the real estate and construction sectors as well as in the banking and finance sector, said the report.
When asked about how the economic situation will change in the future, 67 percent of respondents believed it would take two or more years for improvements to be felt while 52 percent said the improvements will start in one to two years.
The monthly report, which questioned 725 UAE residents between Dec 4-14, 2008, also revealed ways in which UAE residents are dealing with the downturn with many consumers switching to more economical brands and a large proportion staying away from “easy way out” credit solutions because they are concerned about future debt.
Instead many consumers are opting to ‘tighten their belts’ by spending more cautiously, eating out less often, delaying large purchases and even switching brands to make more economic purchases.
Around 80 percent agreed that this is a time when innovative solutions that help save money are much more important while a large proportion of respondents said they are avoiding visits to shopping malls in order to stop spending unnecessarily
The research indicates a shift in consumer trends during the economic environment, vital information for businesses operating in the region, said Nassim Ghrayeb, CEO of YouGovSiraj.
“These findings are hugely important because while residents are spending more cautiously, they are still spending. This presents a big opportunity for all businesses.
"Today we are definitely more price sensitive but there is also a change in attitude where consumers are re-assessing their values. Research like this helps marketers tap into the new trends, where the possibilities are enormous,” he said.
Another trend which has been revealed is that many feel there is a lack transparency surrounding the UAE economy. They would rather seek what they perceive to be safer investment options; including gold and keeping cash at home.
this survey was conducted in December. If you repeat it, I am sure the % of people 'knowing someone who has lost their job' will be a great deal higher! We know of several - and not only in construction & banking. the recession is much more widespread than the media would have us believe!