In news that will surprise few people living here, housing and food costs account for the majority of consumer spending in the UAE.
According to a new report from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), housing expenses for UAE residents reached $75.7 billion in 2016 – over 40% of the total consumer spend of $182.7 billion last year.
Meanwhile, UAE consumers spent $24.8 billion on food and non-alcoholic beverages last year, and $16.7 billion on transportation. Combined, these three categories accounted for 64.1% of consumer spending in 2016.
However, with housing prices going down in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the DCCI report said that consumers are beginning to put their spending money into other categories. Telecoms, which already makes up a decent chunk of consumer spending, is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate of 10.2% up until 2021, according to the report.
“The growing popularity of mobile applications, and Dubai’s adoption of smart city solutions, are also expected to boost spending in this area,” the report said.
Other categories expected to see increased consumer spending are health goods and medical services (expected to grow 8.2% through 2021), hotels and catering (8.1%), education (8%) and leisure (7.7%).