With the Dubai Shopping Festival winding up, after a month packed with sales, fashion shows, parades, concerts and malls brimming with activity, there’s no better time to examine the shopping event’s popularity in the region, as well as the UAE’s shopping habits in general. Whether shopping at the nearest mall, shopping online for the newest gadgets, or even visiting the country to take part in the enormous sales, the love of shopping is very much alive in the UAE.
Outside the UAE, GCC residents are well aware of DSF
According to a recent YouGov Omnibus, as many as 60% of GCC residents (excluding those already living in the UAE) are aware of the Dubai Shopping Festival. Additionally, 14.7% of respondents are planning to visit (or are already visiting) Dubai for the shopping festival. This number is highest in Oman (with 21.1%), followed by Bahrain (17.8%) and Qatar (17.4%).
GCC residents prefer Credit over Cash
When it comes to payment methods while in the UAE, 63% of respondents who say they are at least somewhat likely to visit Dubai in the next three months plan on using Credit Cards as a payment method. This number is followed by 60% who said they’d use Cash, and 25% who chose Debit cards as a payment method.
Notably, the only respondents who didn’t choose credit cards as their preferred method of payment were Omani Residents at 49%
UAE Residents are frequent shoppers
When it comes to UAE residents, YouGov Cube data – looking at an average sample of more than 6,000 UAE residents - shows 52.6% of respondents shop at malls or stores at least three times a month. There’s no shortage of fervent shoppers in the UAE either, with 22.6% of respondents stating they shop at malls or stores more than six times a month. Notably, this number is almost identical between men and women, with 23% of women and 22.3% of men stating the above.
UAE residents also enjoy shopping online, with 55.9% of respondents stating they shop online quite frequently. This number is more noticeable amongst men, 58.7% of whom state the above, in comparison to 52.2% of women.
According to a second YouGov Omnibus survey, 27.1% of UAE respondents go shopping for fashion items (clothes, accessories and shoes) more than once a month. This number is unsurprisingly higher amongst female respondents, 34.3% of whom shop for fashion more than once a month, in comparison to just 23.0% of men who do the same.
Friends are the top fashion influencers in the UAE
When it comes to external influencers, UAE residents consider their friends to be the most influential factor in their fashion shopping habits, with 49.7% stating it is one of their top three influencers. This is followed by spouses/partners at 39.3% and in-store Ads at 25.4%.
Spouses and partners are significantly more influential for men, with 43.5% choosing them as one of their top three influencers, in contrast to just 31.9% of women.
UAE residents believe that quality is the most important choice factor when deciding on which brands to buy, with almost four in five respondents (80.5%) stating it is at least somewhat important to them. This is followed closely by ‘great quality for price’ at 77.6% and ‘great prices’ at 75.8% importance.
You can view some of the data mentioned above, in the interactive CrunchBox below;
Multiple sets of research were conducted for this study, including a YouGov Omnibus amongst GCC residents outside the UAE (general population representative sample of 1,727), a YouGov Omnibus on the UAE’s fashion purchasing habits (general population representative sample of 1,012), supplemented by YouGov Cube data (average of more than 6,000 respondents).