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Elsewhere across the globe consumers tighten their belts, but in the UAE shoppers are snapping-up designer brands.
Elsewhere across the globe consumers tighten their belts, but in the UAE shoppers are snapping-up designer brands.

UAE loves luxury

A Nielson survey has revealed that UAE shoppers rank among the world's biggest consumers of high-end brands.

DUBAI // Fears of a global recession have not dampened the country's love of luxury. A Nielson survey has revealed that UAE shoppers rank among the world's biggest consumers of high-end brands. The 51-country Global Luxury Brands survey, released today, found that three out of five UAE consumers have shopped at Calvin Klein and Christian Dior, and one in three have shopped at Gucci.

Local shoppers are the world's second-biggest buyers of Gucci, at 31 per cent, and Chanel, at 21 per cent, while Giorgio Armani ranks third at 19 per cent. "The rapid economic growth and new wealth of this country is best demonstrated by consumers' insatiable appetite for luxury designer brands," said Piyush Mathur, regional managing director of UAE, North Africa and Pakistan for the Nielsen Company.

Domestic shoppers also topped global rankings in their belief that designer brands were significantly higher quality than standard products. Three in five UAE consumers said people wear designer brands to project social status. The survey also revealed untapped potential for luxury fashion brands in the UAE to expand their apparel businesses into other products such as mobile phones, laptops, flat-screen televisions, MP3 players and even kitchen appliances.

"Our survey tells us UAE consumers certainly don't believe that luxury brands should be restricted to apparel only and there are many retail opportunities savvy marketers can take advantage of," said Mr Mathur. The survey found that 57 per cent of shoppers would buy luxury branded mobile phones, compared with a global average of 34 per cent, and 46 per cent would buy fashion branded laptops, compared with a global average of 29 per cent.

One in three UAE consumers would also be happy to buy a fashion branded flat-screen television, while one in four said they would buy luxury brand MP3 players and kitchen appliances. vsalama@thenational.ae

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