UAE Sees Rise in Entertainment and Leisure Spending

A recent study by Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), a leading shopping mall developer, has revealed that entertainment and leisure spending in United Arab Emirates (UAE) grew by 29% in 2022.

MAF’s “State of the UAE Retail Economy” Q4 report analyzed the overall consumer spending in the UAE, which showed a growth of 13%. Spending on other sectors such as fashion, hypermarkets & supermarkets, as well as general retail, went up by 25%, 11%, and 9%, respectively.

This growth was fueled by an inflow of tourists to the country, which doubled to 14 million in 2022 due to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. UAE also recorded its highest GDP growth since 2006 at 7.9% in 2022, up from 3.9% in 2021.

The Q4 data also demonstrated a rise in conscious purchase decisions, with many people looking for discounts or deals on basic items and reducing purchases of non-essentials like electronics.

Hypermarkets and supermarkets saw a decrease of 3% in the amount people spent per shopping trip, but overall spending in those stores increased by 11% compared to 2021. This means that people are buying smaller amounts more frequently.

The 2.5-day weekend also played a key role in people spending more money. Retail sales on the weekend increased by 11.3% compared to 2021. This resulted in extra spending of AED 5.5 ($1.5), according to the report. Another survey by MAF, Happiness Lab, revealed that around 90% of people feel positive about UAE’s economy.

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