The latest Middle East and North Africa Consumer Confidence Index survey, conducted by YouGov and Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number one job site, has shown that despite respondents’ expecting the UAE’s economy and job opportunities to grow in the foreseeable future, respondents are still concerned about the rising cost of living.
Personal Economic Situation
24% of respondents in the UAE consider their personal financial situation to have improved in the last 6 months, with 45% stating that it has remained the same, and 50% considering it will get better in the next 6 months. Despite this, 81% believe that the cost of living will rise in the UAE within the same time period. Half of UAE respondents (50%) state that their savings have decreased in comparison to last year.
In terms of purchases, over a third (37%) of UAE respondents are planning to invest in a vehicle in the coming year, with 46% planning to purchase a new vehicle for personal use – however, 45% are planning to buy second-hand. A sizable 30% are planning in investing in property, with apartments (46%) being the investment of choice. Over half (56%) plan to purchase a new property, while 31% plan to buy a pre-owned property. In terms of smaller purchases, UAE respondents plan to buy desktop or laptop computers (26%), furniture (22%), and LCD or plasma televisions (16%) in the next 6 months.
The Country’s Economic Situation
The UAE economy has improved in the last 6 months, according to 41% of respondents, and 55% expect things to get better in the next 6 months. Present business conditions are considered to be good to very good by 47%, again with the expectation for things to get better in the year to come (65%). In the UAE, jobs are considered to be plentiful according to 49% of respondents, and 53% expect an increase in the number of job opportunities in the UAE in the next 6 months.
Current Job Perspective
According to two-fifths (43%) of respondents, their companies have grown in terms of the number of employees in the last 6 months. About a quarter state that their companies have fewer people now. 49% of respondents expect the number of employees in their company to grow in the next half year.
For the most part, job satisfaction is high in the Emirates. UAE professionals are happy with career growth opportunities (45%), non-monetary benefits (48%), and job security (47%), but they are less happy with their current salary (35% are satisfied).
“On the whole, the outlook for the region is a good one. Things are certainly improving with more and more major projects materializing across the MENA region, such as the upcoming World Cup in Qatar and Expo2020 in Dubai,” said Suhail Al-Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com. “These projects are generating more job opportunities, which is a boom for the region. They are, however, also driving up costs which is why savings are dwindling and respondents are expecting a higher cost of living in the future. Employers must take this into consideration when hiring new employees.”
Silviu Matei, Director, YouGov, said: “An interesting point to note is that despite the fact that most people in the MENA region consider their personal financial situation to have either improved or stayed the same, a large proportion state that their savings have decreased. Despite high levels of confidence in the market, rising prices seem to negatively impact residents’ savings.”
Data for the YouGov and Bayt.com Middle East and North Africa Consumer Confidence Index Survey for August 2014 was collected online from August 5-19, 2014, amongst 5,075 respondents aged 18 years and above. Respondents were from the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Data is broadly representative of the online population in MENA.
This article originally appeared on Bayt.com.