Dubai: 87% residents positive about getting a job this year

Dubai - Consumer confidence in Dubai highest since 2015, says new report.

Photo: Dubai Media Office/Twitter
Photo: Dubai Media Office/Twitter

By Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Wed 31 Mar 2021, 12:44 PM

Last updated: Wed 31 Mar 2021, 9:37 PM

Consumer confidence in Dubai rose to its highest since 2015 in the first quarter of this year as nationals and residents repose trust in government policies despite the challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic, a new report has said.

The Consumer Confidence Index released by Dubai Economy recorded 145 points in first quarter of 2021 compared to 139 points during the same period of the previous year, and 142 points in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Mohammed Ali Rashed Lootah, CEO of the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) Sector in Dubai Economy, credited “improvements in personal finance conditions of consumers” for the rise.

“Consumers expressing optimism on their personal finance conditions during the first three months of this year have increased to 77 per cent compared to 70 per cent during the last quarter of 2020,” Lootah said in a statement to Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

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Elaborating, he said optimism on personal finance conditions during the next 12 months is also evident among 84 per cent of consumers compared to 73 per cent during the same period last year.

“The index also shows that optimism on current personal finance conditions is particularly high among Emiratis at 89 per cent, while 87 per cent of Arab expatriates are the most optimistic about an improvement in personal finance during the next 12 months,” said Lootah.

Confident on hiring

About 87 per cent of consumers see improved chances of getting a job during the next 12 months, with those in the 30-39 age group were more optimistic (90 per cent). The index shows 84 per cent of consumers as optimistic about the overall economy during the next 12 months.

Among Emiratis, 89 per cent were optimistic on the economic situation, while the positive sentiment was also shared by 87 per cent of Western expatriates.

For 79 per cent of consumers, “it’s the right time to buy the things they need or want to buy”, the report said.

In terms of money in excess of basic needs, 38 per cent said they will spend on vacations and 37 per cent on outdoor entertainment, while 34 per cent plan to save.

The measures planned by consumers as part of staying within budget include cutting down on buying new clothes (48 per cent), delaying technology upgrades (43 per cent) and reducing ordering meals from outside (41 per cent). The index captures a consumer’s perceptions on the overall economy, personal finance and job opportunities as well as intentions and expectations of buying and saving. The study helps in developing policies related to consumer protection, in addition to enabling the private sector to estimate demand and develop their marketing strategies accordingly.

Crisis-handling strategy

Lal Bhatia, chairman of Hilshaw Group, said the UAE is perhaps one of the first nations to clearly recognise Covid-19 as a healthcare issue and not an economic calamity.

“While I have repeated this on many occasions, you just cannot say it enough times that the country’s response and approach towards pandemic management was nothing short iconic and this rise in consumer confidence is evidence of its success,” he said.

“What is remarkable is the time line indicated in the report where a sharp rise in confidence is seen from fourth quarter of 2020 onwards, which is when Dubai opened its borders to international travellers and we saw the beginning of the return to social normalcy. This is a clear indicator that in addition to management of the Covid-19 healthcare aspect — economic confidence and prosperity is dependent upon the human happiness quotient which can only be achieved through a controlled and gradual return to normalcy and the post-Covid era,” he elaborated.

Haleema Al Owais, CEO of Sultan bin Ali Al Owais Real Estate, said the findings in the report were inevitable and are in fact the fruits of the efforts and wisdom the country’s leadership sowed last year, through the remarkable management of Covid-19.

“The UAE is one of the first countries to bounce back sustainably. What is more interesting is the fact that the confidence is shared by emiratis and expats alike. Cut to free vaccination, PCR testing and the containment infrastructure for those affected by the virus and the results of the report start making a lot of sense,” she said.


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