UAE residents cutting back on eating out as spending habits shift

Two thirds of all respondents spent more on food and drink to consume at home and 69 per cent spent more on household items.

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Residents are spending less on luxury items and more on life’s necessities, new research shows.

Overall spending last year was about the same as the year before, despite low oil prices and a strong US dollar.

But people spent less on eating out, socialising and concerts and more on food at home, rent and household items.

While only 18 per cent of respondents said they spent less than planned last year, two-thirds spent more on food and drink for home and 69 per cent spent more on household items.

And 40 per cent of respondents said they saved less last year.

The new spending patterns, are broadly similar across all age groups although those over 40 are most likely to cut back on socialising, and 51 per cent cutting back on eating and drinking out.

While spending patterns are changing at home the UAE still ranks as the number one destination for luxury shopping in the region.

Forty-three per cent of Middle East respondents chose Dubai as their favourite place to shop for luxury items, followed by Abu Dhabi.

“The Saudi Arabian travellers are still spending as much as they ever have here, and that is at very high levels” said David Macadam, chief executive of the Middle East Centre for Shopping Centres.

“As a luxury retail destination Dubai is hard to beat because it has the best looking shops, the biggest brands, the best known names and the most food and beverage outlets. As a regional destination nowhere compares to Dubai so it will retain footfall and spending.”

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