GfK study reveals key insights into UAE consumer behaviour and priorities

Primary concerns among UAE consumers include global climate change or global warming

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Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

Published: Fri 9 Jun 2023, 11:00 AM

GfK, a global leader in the market and consumer intelligence, recently conducted an extensive Consumer Life Study, unveiling invaluable insights into the concerns, preferences, and habits of consumers in the UAE. The study sheds light on the top concerns of UAE consumers, their shifting lifestyle priorities, and their expectations from brands and companies. These findings carry significant implications for businesses operating in the region.

According to Rahul Dixit, Head of Marketing and Consumer Intelligence – Mena, GfK, “By incorporating these actionable recommendations into their strategies, brands and leaders can better align their offerings with the evolving needs and expectations of UAE consumers. This will enable them to differentiate themselves in the market, build stronger connections with their target audience, and drive long-term success.”

According to the study, the primary concerns among UAE consumers include global climate change or global warming, recession and unemployment, and the cost of healthcare. Approximately 27 per cent of respondents expressed worry about the impact of global climate change, underlining the growing significance of environmental issues in the minds of UAE consumers. Additionally, 25 per cent of respondents cited recession and unemployment as major concerns, reflecting the need for economic stability and job security. Furthermore, 22 per cent of consumers identified the cost of healthcare as a pressing issue, emphasising the importance of accessible and affordable healthcare services.

Rahul Dixit, Head of Marketing and Consumer Intelligence – Mena, GfK. — Supplied photo
Rahul Dixit, Head of Marketing and Consumer Intelligence – Mena, GfK. — Supplied photo

Shifting priorities

The study also revealed intriguing insights into the lifestyle choices of UAE consumers. A significant 47 per cent of respondents reported engaging in daily or frequent exercise to maintain their fitness. This finding suggests a strong emphasis on health and well-being among UAE consumers, presenting opportunities for brands in the fitness and wellness industries. Furthermore, 51 per cent of respondents indicated engaging in non-grocery shopping at least once a week, underscoring the significance of retail experiences beyond essential purchases.

Noteworthy consumer behaviours

The Consumer Life Study highlighted several consumer behaviours that hold notable implications for brands and companies in the UAE. For instance, 33 per cent of respondents reported viewing live sports events on TV or through various streaming services, apps, or online platforms on a daily or frequent basis. This presents an opportunity for businesses in the sports and entertainment sectors to engage with consumers through digital platforms. Additionally, 31 per cent of respondents expressed a preference for purchasing second-hand items instead of new ones, while 38 per cent reported switching from name brands to less expensive alternatives. These findings suggest a growing trend of cost-consciousness and sustainability awareness among UAE consumers, encouraging companies to consider alternative business models and eco-friendly practices.

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