Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat- Results of a recent global online survey by ACNielsen reveal that the UAE ranks amongst the top five countries worldwide for consumer purchasing power of luxury clothes and accessories.
As part of the survey, over 23,500 internet users in 42 markets across the UAE, Europe, Asia Pacific, North and Latin America and South Africa were questioned about their current purchasing patterns. A third of respondents in the UAE said they buy luxury branded goods, whilst over half claimed to know someone who does.
Products by Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent proved to be the most popular with Emirati fashion consumers. However, when asked which brands they would prefer to buy if financial resources were not a constraint, Giorgio Armani scored the highest, with 46 per cent consumers aspiring for this luxurious label. Dior followed closely with 42 per cent, Chanel with 32 per cent whilst Gucci, Givenchy and Versace came in with 31 per cent each.
Commenting on the results, Piyush Mathur, Regional Managing Director, ACNielsen Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP) said: “Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel have established themselves as brands with history, promoting classical, conservative values widely recognised in UAE society. In addition, the premium and superior positioning of these brands in the UAE appeals to wealthy consumers.
“Brands promoting a modern, youthful or a ‘vagabond’ image or ‘glamorous life’, such as Prada, Max Mara, Fendi or DKNY, hardly reached 15 per cent in our survey.”
“Popularity of the Giorgio Armani brand is largely due to its recent PR campaign associated with Emaar Hotels & Resorts LLC, which has resulted in the building of luxury Armani hotels and resorts worldwide,” added Mathur.
Whilst most of the survey is good news for fashion retailers, 82 per cent of UAE respondents feel that designer brands are overpriced. But this hasn’t stopped UAE consumers emerging overall as some of the most energetic buyers of designer clothes and accessories worldwide. UAE consumers lead the world in the purchasing of luxury brand sunglasses which account for 67 per cent and luggage bags make up 25 per cent.
The survey also unveiled some of the benefits of the brands with 62 per cent feeling that designer brands are strongly associated with a higher social status, whilst 45 per cent believe that these clothes are of a better quality compared to ordinary brands.
“Of all the 42 countries surveyed, luxury branded luggage bags are the most popular in the UAE. A quarter of internet users in the UAE opt for carrying their luggage ‘in luxury’ and another 10 per cent would happily join them if money was no object. With one third of respondents claiming to spend their disposable income on holidays and traveling, designer accessories have tremendous potential in this market,” concluded Mathur.