Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

UAE retail economy report shows spending up 16% this year

Supplied
The Mall of the Emirates in Dubai
  • Shift to Saturday-Sunday weekend contributes to growth
  • E-commerce spending up 41%, accounting for 11% of retail economy

Consumer spending in the UAE is proving resilient against the effects of market volatility, supply chain stress, rising fuel costs and inflation.

The State of the UAE Retail Economy report from retail giant Majid Al Futtaim showed that overall spending increased by 22 percent in the first six months of 2022 compared to the same period last year.

The rise was driven by growth of 16 percent in retail spending and 31 percent in non-retail sectors. Spending increased on food and beverages (15 percent), hotels (14 percent) and pharmacy and health (14 percent).

Majid Al Futtaim’s report also said that the decision to shorten the work week and shift the weekend to Saturday and Sunday has further contributed to economic growth, with weekend retail spending growth in the first half of 2022 outpacing weekdays by six percent.

While rising prices have not put a brake on consumer spending, they have influenced what people buy and where they spend their money, according to an analysis of Majid Al Futtaim’s point-of-sale (PoS) transactions. 

In Q2, spending on fashion and accessories and watches and jewellery rose by 20 percent compared to the first three months of the year, driven mainly by seasonal discounts and Ramadan promotions.

The research further revealed that omnichannel shopping – both online and bricks and mortar – remains consumers’ preferred way to buy, with e-commerce spending increasing by 41 percent in the first half of this year and online sales now accounting for 11 percent of the overall retail economy. Clothing and fashion topped the omnichannel list. 

The hypermarket and supermarket sector also demonstrated growth, increasing by 12 percent in the first half compared to the first six months of 2021.

However, consumer purchases have shifted towards lower value and higher frequency, with the average transaction value down by 12 percent over the same period.

Alain Bejjani, CEO at Majid Al Futtaim – Holding, said: “In testament to the inherent resilience of its economy, the UAE has continued to demonstrate sustainable growth through the first six months of the year.

Despite the gathering global headwinds, data from the Q2 State of the UAE Retail Economy report confirms an ongoing, steady rebound. 

“Bolstered by government-driven diversification initiatives that focus on strengthening the non-oil economy, boosting productivity, and creating the best environment for foreign investment, the UAE retail economy looks set to continue on a positive trajectory.”  

He added: “While the country is not immune to wider macroeconomic challenges and inflationary pressures, the intrinsic strength and stability of its foundations offer fertile ground for lasting economic growth.”

Latest articles

As part of the agreement, Lenovo will establish its Middle East and Africa headquarters in Saudi Arabia

China’s Lenovo issues $2bn bonds to repay Saudi Alat debt

China’s Lenovo Group has issued $2 billion in convertible bonds to Alat, a Public Investment Fund (PIF)-backed technology manufacturing company, to repay its existing debt and boost working capital. As part of the agreement, the Hong Kong-headquartered personal computer maker will open a new PC and server manufacturing facility and establish its Middle East and Africa […]

Adnoc Distribution plans to open 15 to 20 new fuel stations this year

Adnoc Distribution targets 200 EV stations this year

Adnoc Distribution, the UAE’s largest fuel and convenience retailer, is planning to more than double the number of fast electric vehicle (EV) charging stations as part of its five-year expansion strategy. The company has 90 fast EV charging points and aims to reach 150-200 by the end of the year, the UAE state-run Wam news […]

A UBS report shows wealthy Latin American families are more likely to invest in the Middle East than US or European counterparts

Wealthy Latin Americans more likely to invest in Middle East

Wealthy Latin American families were more present as investors in the Middle East than those from other parts of the world in 2023, a global banking report says, but overall numbers are low and down from 2022.  UBS bank’s Global Family Office Report for 2024 showed that Latin American families had placed 2 percent of […]

Opec oil demand US crowded highway

Opec optimistic about oil demand through to 2025

Opec continues to expect strong oil demand growth this year and next as the world economy remains resilient, the group’s chief said. “For 2024, oil demand growth is at 2.2 million barrels per day, with total global demand anticipated to average 104.5 million bpd,” Haitham Al Ghais, the secretary general of Opec, the Organisation of […]