The UAE’s yuppies are upbeat about the economy and their personal financial situations, a new survey by Visa found.
“More than half of UAE professionals are optimistic about future employment opportunities and personal finances and believe the country’s economic situation will improve in the coming 12 months,” Visa said yesterday.
The poll of UAE citizens and residents ages 18 to 55 who hold at least one payment card found that a large portion of respondents prioritise family matters, including their children’s education (65 per cent), spending time with family (57 per cent) and staying healthy (52 per cent).
Not surprisingly, the younger wealthy professionals (between 18 and 29) say they want to increase personal income and save for the future.
“Confidence in the UAE’s economy generally goes up in line with increasing confidence about future employment opportunities and personal income,” said Ihab Ayoub, Visa’s general manager for the Middle East and North Africa.
Another no-brainer: the young and well-off tend to be status-conscious.
Visa’s study showed that UAE professionals already are among the most frequent travellers in the Middle East, averaging one or two overseas trips in the past six months.
South and South East Asia and Middle East countries are top destinations, and many are also travelling to Europe and the United States.
The study also found UAE professionals ages 18 to 29 who earn more than Dh35,000 per month “are more inclined towards luxury as a display of status”. These individuals are likely to compare prices and reviews before making a purchase and spend higher amounts on food and dining, clothing, personal care and investments, says Visa.
“Status seekers use products that are often endorsed by celebrities,” the study finds.
“They believe luxury is a sign of social standing and enjoy attracting attention from their peers.”
Professionals who are “exclusivity-focused” like to own products before others do and like getting services and experiences that are specifically catered to their preferences, says Visa.
Of course they do.
UAE professionals are savers: nearly 80 per cent put aside about Dh6,000 per month for discretionary spending.
But they also like to go out and eat a lot. Almost all (89 per cent) go to fast food or casual dining outlets at least once a week, while only about 29 per cent pay for fitness memberships.
The Visa study predicts that young professionals will spend on discretionary items such as holidays and nights out because of their optimism for the economy.
The study found that 40 per cent said they expect to spend more on family holidays in the next year.
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