Revealed: How much UAE residents spend, what they shop for while travelling abroad

Strong spending by tourists from the Emirates on shopping is attributed to the high per capita income of the residents.

by

Waheed Abbas

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Published: Thu 7 Sep 2023, 6:06 PM

Last updated: Thu 7 Sep 2023, 8:53 PM

The UAE tourists are one of the world's highest spenders on shopping during their travel abroad, spending $1,100 (Dh4,037) on an average, nearly 277 per cent more than the global average tourist spend of $292, according to the latest figures released by the World Travel and Tourism Council on Thursday.

Among the other countries, the tourists who spent the most on shopping during their last international trip were from mainland China, Argentina and India, spending $1,350, $1,180 and $1,050, respectively.

The strong spending by UAE tourists in foreign countries on shopping is attributed to the high per capita income of the residents.

According to Worldometers, per capita income in UAE reached $87,729 in 2022 based on power purchasing parity (PPP), the 6th highest in the world, and 425 per cent higher than the world average. The per capita income of the residents increased by $2,785 in 2022 as compared to the previous year. PPP takes into account the relative cost of living, rather than using only exchange rates, to provide a more accurate picture of the real differences in income.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council in the Global Retail Tourism Trends and Insights report, this segment began to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic in most markets in 2021, with the Americas and Europe leading the way.

Where UAE tourists shop

Data released by the World Travel and Tourism Council in the Global Retail Tourism Trends and Insights report revealed that UAE tourists spend around 18 per cent on jewellery and watches when travelling abroad for tourism followed by electricals, cameras and accessories (17 per cent); garments and shoes (16 per cent); cosmetics, perfumes and personal care products (16 per cent); F&B and tobacco (15 per cent); leather and synthetic goods (9 per cent); and others (9 per cent).

The UAE tourists are highly brand-conscious and buy goods from upmarket places during their foreign tours. The top choices for shopping are:

  • High-street shops/shopping malls/department stores.
  • Street markets/bazaars.
  • Duty-free shops.
  • Boutiques/artisan shops.
  • Outlets and others

Retail tourism is no longer just about buying souvenirs; it's a driving force behind the recovery of the travel and tourism sector, contributing significantly to revenue, job creation, and overall economic growth," said Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC.

"Travellers are looking for authentic brands that capture the culture and uniqueness of their destination, as well as luxury brands in a luxurious setting," said Simpson.

The WTTC survey found that India, mainland China, the UAE, and Brazil have the largest proportions of respondents with sustainability intentions, indicating they'd be willing to pay at least a 5 per cent premium on sustainable products. India also has the largest proportion of this group who say that they are willing to pay 15-20 per cent extra for sustainable products. Those from the UAE, the US, India and Saudi Arabia were the most willing to pay more than 20 per cent extra.

ALSO READ:


More news from Life and Living