The majority of UAE residents prefer to spend on luxury experiences rather than on expensive goods, a study by American Express Middle East showed.
Almost 59 per cent of the respondents polled said that they would priortise luxury experiences compared to 41 per cent who focused on luxury goods.
Of those who chose to spend on luxury experiences, 47 per cent said that holidays would be their top option while 45 per cent said that they prefer social calendar events. The majority of UAE residents said that they invest in luxury experiences to be entertained, relax and to maintain their personal well-being.
The survey also noted that 33 per cent of the respondents expected to step up their luxury spending over the next few months.
“The UAE is demonstrating robust spending on luxury goods and experiences, reflecting an overall regional trend which sees the majority of high earners planning to spend the same or more on luxury in 2015,” said Mazin Khoury, CEO of American Express Middle East.
“Over recent years, though, we’ve seen a major shift in the way people spend and make luxury purchases and investments as they increasingly prioritise buying luxury experiences, and the memories that go with them.
“For UAE consumers, the personal fulfilment gained from a holiday or the special experience of attending a major sporting event creates the enriching moments which are increasingly regarded as the most valuable when it comes to luxury spending,” he said.
Expenditure on luxury goods has been steadily growing in the Gulf markets. A recent report by consultant Knight Frank named Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia as the top three countries in the new luxury opportunity index.
The study forecast that spending by ultra high net worth individuals in these countries is set to rise in 2014, with almost a third of the wealth managers polled saying that they expected their clients to step up expenditure on luxury goods.