Residents in Qatar are the biggest buyers of luxury products in the Middle East, and spend up to $5000 per month on buying luxury goods, according to a new survey by American Express Middle East.
Consumers in Oman and Jordan are the most conservative shoppers, spending less than $250 per month on luxury goods.
Overall, the report found that residents across the Middle East – except in the UAE – plan to increase spending on luxury goods and experiences through the end of 2012, as their personal circumstances improve and they develop greater awareness of brands and high quality products.
“Consumer attitudes towards spending have begun to improve significantly and there is a noticeable rise in spending on luxury goods and experiences across the region,” Mazin Khoury, CEO, American Express Middle East said in a statement.
According to the survey, cars, high-end electronic goods and fashion accessories were identified as preferred purchases over experiential luxury such as holidays and spa treatments this year.
While 37 per cent of the respondents claimed they enjoyed fashion shopping, 31 per cent said that they planned to buy new vehicles this year.
Automobile purchases are highest in the UAE with 42 per cent looking to buy new cars in 2012, compared to only 24 per cent of Bahraini respondents.
In terms of F&B, consumer spend was extremely high in the UAE unlike other countries in the region, said the report.
The survey also found that quality and brand name are the leading factors that influence consumers’ luxury purchasing decisions.
Khoury added: “Quality is by far the biggest driver of luxury purchases among consumers, though the brand name also remains a key deciding factor. Those surveyed said that the brand name was key in determining spend, in addition to sales, price reductions and advertising.
“It is only in the UAE that a friend’s recommendation carried the greatest weight.”
Not surprisingly, Dubai was identified by 65 per cent of respondents as the prime location for buying branded luxury products.
“Consumers today have become more conscious of the cost of products and services and insist on getting maximum value and rewards for their investment,” said Khoury.
“The inclination towards acquiring tangible luxury goods as opposed to participating in luxury experiences is in keeping with the new consumer sentiment that demands greater value for money. Tangible luxury offers greater perceived value as consumers can experience the rewards for their investment over a longer period,” he added.