Amex Middle East Spending Survey predicts an optimistic 2015

RetailME Bureau

The American Express (Amex) Middle East Spending Survey conducted by YouGov across the MENA region in May 2014 revealed that overall regional spending on luxury experiences such as social events and holidays outweighed spending on goods such as watches and cars. Oman was one of just two countries where respondents stated that spending on goods is more important than experiences.

Looking at where residents of Oman consumers focus their spending on goods, 50% prioritise high-end electronics, placing Oman at the top when it comes to spending on gadgets. In Oman, residents also place a high priority on art and collectibles with 17% choosing this as their number one priority – significantly ahead of any other country and higher than the regional average of just 5%.

Commenting on the results, Mazin Khoury, CEO, Amex Middle East, says, “2015 is set to show robust spending on both luxury services and goods, both in Oman and across the wider region. In Oman, we’ve also noticed that while goods still occupy the majority of luxury spending it’s a very narrow margin and one which is set to get narrower in the years ahead, as Omani consumers increasingly value the special experience and personal fulfilment that comes with luxury experiences.”

Although Omani consumers are not prioritising luxury experiences over goods in the same way as most of the rest of the region, there is still considerable spending on those moments which create life-long memories. In common with the rest of the region, the top luxury experience for Omani residents is luxury social calendar events.

Omani residents overwhelmingly chose Dubai as their preferred place to shop in the MENA region with 77% picking the city as their number one destination, well ahead of the regional average of 68%. In addition, 77% of Omanis prefer making luxury purchases in-store rather than online. The main reason cited by respondents is that they use the opportunity to physically examine the goods and check the quality, an important consideration in the purchase of luxury goods.