October 25 2016  |  Industry News

m1nd-set discusses UAE-resident spend

By Hibah Noor

Dr Peter Mohn, Owner and CEO, m1nd-set

They’re young, and they want to spend. That’s the conclusion of specialist research firm m1nd-set, which has unearthed some interesting facts about the travel and shopping behavior of United Arab Emirates residents in the travel retail channel.

First, they are youthful. The average age is 35, and 53% are aged between 25 and 34 – the millennial generation. Some 35% are between 35 and 44 years old, while some 7% are 45 to 54; 4% are over 55; and 5% are 18 to 24.

Second, the respondents are frequent travelers. More than a third (31%) travel one to two times per year, with a slightly larger number, 35%, traveling three to four times per year. Nearly 20% (19%) make five to six trips annually, with 15% citing seven trips and above.

Of those surveyed, 65% are of foreign nationalities, and 35% UAE nationals.

According to Dr Peter Mohn, Owner and CEO, m1nd-set, the biggest shopper segments are:

-   29% Local Touch Seekers: This group like local and authentic products, and are not very brand sensitive;

-   27% Emotional Brand Image shoppers: This group are very into brands and image and exclusives;

-  18% Rational Pre-Planners: They like to plan their purchases in advance;

- 17% Price-Sensitive Shopping Lovers: This group seeks value in their purchases;

- 11% Low Income Buyers: Around one in 10 of those surveyed don’t have much money to spend.

Looking specifically at duty free shop visitors and buyers, they are among the top spenders in the world, similar to South Korean, Russian and Chinese. If they buy in other countries, it is mainly in the US and the UK, m1nd-set found. They are mostly like to purchase souvenirs, accessories, jewelry and fashion and clothing when traveling internationally.

Gifting is very important

When shopping at airports, they mainly buy for themselves and for gifting. Gifting, in particular, is significantly higher compared to most other residents around the world, according to m1nd-set.

The main reasons for visiting airport stores are: wanting to buy a gift (38%); shopping is part of the travel experience (35%); enjoying shopping at airports (31%); and finding exclusive and unique products at airports (30%).

Many people – some eight out of 10 of those polled – plan in advance what they want to shop for when traveling abroad, which is much higher than compared to most other residents around the world. And most prefer to buy brands they are aware of, but not available in their own country, m1nd-set discovered.

The majority – 85% – plan to allow some time specifically for shopping at the airport shops, which is among the highest in the world, mostly between 30 and 45 minutes. And nearly everyone – nine out of 10 – compares prices when shopping at airports, mainly with downtown prices on their mobile devices.

In terms of payment preferences, three out of four prefer to pay with a credit card, m1nd-set said.

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