Dubai’s consumer confidence index reached its highest level since 2011 in the third quarter as the emirate’s economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic on the back of stimulus measures and an accelerated vaccine campaign.
Consumer confidence rose to 153 points in the third quarter of 2021, up two points from the previous quarter and 21 points more than during the same period last year, according to the Department of Economic Development’s latest Consumer Confidence Index report.
The index is conducted quarterly to gauge consumers’ spending habits and their perceptions about the economy, personal finances and job opportunities. The department did not provide details on the number of people polled.
“The latest index reflects an unprecedented level of positive sentiment towards the state of the economy and how Dubai successfully overcame the global economic challenges related to Covid-19 by reactivating economic activity,” said Mohammed Lootah, chief executive of the department’s commercial compliance and consumer protection sector.
Seventy-three per cent of consumers were positive about the jobs market, compared with 46 per cent in the same period in 2020, according to the department, which is also known as Dubai Economy.
Eighty-eight per cent of consumers also said they would be optimistic about finding a job in the next 12 months, compared with 77 per cent in the same period last year.
About 88 per cent of Europeans and Americans were optimistic about current job prospects while 93 per cent of Emiratis said they were confident they would find employment in the next 12 months.
Dubai, the commercial and trading centre of the Middle East, has witnessed a recovery in crucial economic sectors such as tourism and property over the past few months after the hit to the global economy caused by Covid-19.
The emirate unveiled stimulus packages worth Dh7.1 billion ($1.93bn) since the outbreak of Covid-19 to support the economy, businesses and people. The emirate’s economy is expected to grow by 3.1 per cent this year, according to government data released last month.
The hosting of the six-month Expo 2020 Dubai global trade fair, which began this month, has also spurred economic activity this year and laid the foundation for even faster growth momentum.
In June, Dubai reduced or cancelled fees for 88 government services to reduce financial pressure on businesses, lower the cost of living, support investors and improve the business environment in the emirate. Its economy is forecast to expand by 3.4 per cent in 2022.
The consumer confidence index also indicated that 86 per cent of consumers were positive about their current financial position, compared with 72 per cent in the same period last year.
Seventy-eight per cent of consumers had a positive overall perception of the economy in the third quarter of 2021, compared with 57 per cent in the same period last year.
About 82 per cent of Emiratis and 81 per cent of business owners from different nationalities said that the current state of Dubai's economy is good, the study found.
Meanwhile, 85 per cent of consumers said they were positive about the state of Dubai's economy over the next 12 months, compared with 72 per cent in the same quarter of 2020, according to the research.
About 95 per cent of public sector employees and 87 per cent of male respondents expect the state of Dubai’s economy to be good in the next 12 months.
“An increase in tourism, growth in business and a rise in promotional campaigns are the main factors driving positive sentiment in Dubai,” Mr Lootah said.
Eighty-two per cent of consumers feel that the time is right to buy the things they want or need. About 44 per cent of consumers in Dubai plan to spend their spare cash on holidays, 36 per cent on outdoor entertainment and 33 per cent on new clothes, according to the study.
Fifty-one per cent of consumers are expected to spend less on new clothes while 38 per cent plan to cut down on outdoor entertainment to stay within budget, according to the research.