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Posted On: 20 April 2016 11:38 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:16 pm

Luxury is a priority for people in Qatar?

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Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world and the spending habits of the residents of this futuristic country has always been a matter of scrutiny. Findings from a survey commissioned by American Express Middle East across five GCC countries show residents of Qatar spend more on luxury goods and experiences than the rest of the region.

Despite the economic slowdown, luxury expenditure in Qatar has hardly been affected. More than $4,000 a month is spent on luxury – approximately 12% of average household income.

The top spending trends is Qatar

  • Qatar has hardly cut back its spendings. Only 24% has actually put a check on their expenditure.

  • Average spending on luxuries in Qatar is the most amongst all the GCC countries.

  • In Qatar, personal wellness is a priority.

  • For the people in Qatar, Dubai is the most popular shopping destination.

The survey involved a series of face-to-face interviews and was undertaken by GfK in November and December 2015. The 430 respondents surveyed are active decision makers for luxury purchases in their households, and have annual household incomes of USD 75,000 or higher. The survey was carried out among residents of UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait who had lived in the country for at least one year.


Photo taken by Omar Chatriwala

This finding comes despite a noticeable shift in spending habits with people focusing more on essentials. The research also revealed that nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents cut back on planned spending in the last 12 months. Over three quarters of respondents (79%) said they spent more on transport, and 74% paid more on rent. Budgets for socialising were also squeezed with 42% spending less on this category.

“The economic headwinds across the region are affecting many and we have seen a significant switch in how people are using their disposable income. Despite that, we’re still seeing buoyant spending on luxury experiences and goods,” said Mazin Khoury, Chief Executive Officer, American Express Middle East.

The story is also broadly similar across all five countries surveyed. Looking at Qatar, 26% spent less on dining out 2015 while 72% spent more on food and drinks for consumption at home – a clear shift in spending habits. Similarly, in Oman 88% spent more on food and drinks for consumption at home while 41% cut back on socialising. While in Kuwait,85% spent more on food and drinks for consumption at home while 56% cut back on socializing.

As with everyday spending, there is also a change in the way people spend on luxuries. In Qatar, nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents plan to prioritise personal wellness in the next 12 months with fine dining the category to lose out.