UAE Economy Recovers in 2022 - Residents Spending Increases

UAE Economy Recovers in 2022 – Residents Spending Increases 

Dubai – An increase in consumer spending seems to emerge among the United Arab Emirates (UAE) residents as a result of dropping fuel prices and relaxation of the COVID restrictions. As one of the top 10 market research companies in Dubai, we can affirm that UAE consumers are spending more on clothing, luxury goods, fuel and dining out. 

This could be primarily attributed to the recovery of UAE’s economy and the increase in job opportunities for the UAE residents. According to a market research survey in UAE, the consumers in the country are unlikely to cut their spending on non-essential food items like chocolates, biscuits/cold drinks etc., as less than 3% of the respondents mentioned that they have plans to do so over the next 3 months. Similarly, only 2% of the respondents mentioned that they would cut expenses on a new or economical car, holidays, non-essential personal care products and entertainment activities.

More than 99% of UAE consumers surveyed were in favor of keeping their expenses on mobile, Over the Top (OTT) services such as Netflix, beauty products, gym membership, home furniture, and home electronics.

UAE Economic Growth Forecast

The International Monetary (IMF) recently published the World Economic Outlook report this month, in which the UAE’s economic growth was revised and forecasted an upward growth for the year 2022 and 2023. The UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to grow 5.1% for the year 2022 when compared to its previous forecast of 4.2%. It is also the highest growth rate projected in the past seven years.

Similarly, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also revised the projections for Middle East and North African (MENA) GDP growth by 5% this year, up from 4.1% in 2021, before slowing to 3.6% in 2023 as the global conditions are expected to worsen next year. Inflation in MENA is estimated to be at an average of 14.2% in 2022. The conditions are forecasted to remain high next year, driven by food and energy prices. 

Read: UAE Economic Growth Forecast Revised to 5.1% by IMG – 2022

Impact Economic Growth on Consumer Spending

The increased UAE consumer spending is helped by the drop in petrol prices and most of the Covid-related restrictions have been removed. A similar survey conducted by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) revealed that more than half of the emirate’s residents (52%) dine-out up to three times per week. The cost-of-living increase is underway among many UAE consumers and it would be no surprise to see the consumers planning to reduce their spending on clothes and fuel. However,  despite the financial squeeze the vast majority are not looking to reduce their savings plan contribution.

Another survey that was conducted in UAE also found that 26% of those respondents mentioned clothes as the top area to make the reductions. The next highest-ranking issue, named by 15% of respondents, was petrol expenses. A further 9% of residents believe weekend activities, dining out and luxury products as the top three areas to make cutbacks in the next three months.

Forecasted Increase in Consumer Spending

The UAE government has also taken several measures to support consumer spending in the country. The UAE’s Ministry of Economy approved a new policy to keep price hikes of basic food items in check.  These initiatives are going to further support consumer spending and along with positioning UAE as one of the major retail and Food and Beverage (F&B) hub in the Middle East region. 


As one of the top marketing research companies in the UAE, we can assist in evaluating the market potential in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the UAE.. At Research Konnection, we specialize in conducting in-depth Market Feasibility Studies, support in data collection (Surveys & Interviews) and develop Business Plans. Feel free to reach out to us on hello@researchkonnection.com to discuss more. 



Author: Waqas Siddiqui
As a research consultant, I am passionate about supporting businesses in successfully expanding in the UAE and Gulf region. I can be reached at waqas@researchkonnection.com for research inquiries.