New research conducted among High Net Worth (HNW) individuals in Qatar has revealed that nearly three quarters (72%) prefer to spend money on quality experiences rather than owning yet more luxury items.
The research, which has been commissioned by Heathrow Airport’s VIP Service, revealed that a desire for more privacy and saving time in which to relax were the main motivations for choosing to spend money on experiences rather than acquiring more possessions. Some 91% of affluent individuals favouring experience said privacy was a key factor, and nearly a fifth (19%) said gaining time was also important.
Preferring experiences over owning more possessions is a growing trend among the affluent across the GCC, although it is particularly pronounced in Qatar, the UAE and Bahrain. By contrast in Kuwait, only half (50%) of the affluent prefer experiences to more possessions.
The research showed that age plays a role in favouring experiences over items; over a third of affluent people in Qatar (38%) said that their attitude had changed over the last 10 years and quality experiences had become more important since they reached key milestones such as having children or achieving a long-aspired senior position at work.
The research also found that occupation played a part in determining how important experience was to an individual. Those working in finance, banking and professional services were most likely to state a preference for private, luxury experiences, compared to those working in healthcare who were among the least likely to opt for experience over possessions.
Chris Annetts, Heathrow’s Commercial Services Director, said: “We know from working closely with people from Qatar just how important quality experiences are to people from this region, especially when travelling. Our personal shoppers at Heathrow Airport work with Qatari passengers every day so we know that they have a love of stylish, beautiful items, but this research shows that in our increasingly hectic lives, the chance to enjoy private, exclusive experiences that help us to save time are important.”
Heathrow Airport’s VIP Service is available to First Class and Business Class travellers, flying on any airline to or from Heathrow.
The service is designed to offer travellers total privacy. It includes a personal lounge where both check-in and security are taken care of and a luxury limousine which delivers the passenger directly to the steps of the departing flight. For those arriving at Heathrow, the service includes collection from the aircraft and transportation directly to the exclusive suite where luggage is delivered.
Chris Annetts said: “Heathrow’s VIP Service was originally designed for dignitaries such as Heads of State but we recognised that the privacy and exclusivity that we offered is something that many affluent travellers are looking for in their own lives. Making the service available to First Class and Business Class passengers, we now provide a quality experience that allows our passengers to enjoy personalised service.”
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