The Abu Dhabi Consumer Protection Department plays a major role in managing the changing consumer behavior in the post-pandemic era. The changing consumer behavior brings opportunities and challenges, which need to be managed if fast recovery is to be achieved.
Consumer Behavior in Abu Dhabi: Changes and Recovery
Within the second quarter of 2021, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has experienced a 4% increase in consumer spending. This indicates that the country’s potential to reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021.
This positive trend is not unprecedented, however. In 2019, the UAE experienced a 3% growth rate in consumer spending.
The pandemic has brought changes in Abu Dhabi consumer behavior. In general, consumer behaviors deviate from the pre-pandemic pattern. However, some consumer behaviors have returned to the pre-pandemic levels.
For instance, during 2021, consumers spend less on fashion compared to the same period in 2019. In addition, the retail segment of the country’s e-commerce sector amounts to over 8% of the overall retail market in the UAE in 2020.
Abu Dhabi’s property and residential sectors also see signs of recovery. After over a year of online working from their origin countries, expatriates are returning to Abu Dhabi. In 2021 alone, Abu Dhabi’s residential consumption increases to 215%, with a 357% growth in value transactions.
Opportunities and Challenges
During the pandemic, consumers prioritized buying necessities and hesitated to spend on indulgent goods. This changed once the UAE succeeded in vaccinating its population. The UAE has the highest vaccination rate in the world, enabling the country’s economy to recover relatively faster than others.
As the economy recovers, consumers start to revisit malls and show higher confidence in buying diverse ranges of products. There is also recovery in the property and residential sectors. These are how the changes bring opportunities.
The changes also bring challenges. While consumers are more willing to spend in the post-pandemic era, the consumer behavior pattern is no longer the same as pre-pandemic. There is also a growing trend of digital solutions, which provides the kind of convenience that brick-and-mortar stores couldn’t.
Abu Dhabi Consumer Protection
Abu Dhabi government works together with credit card providers to provide various incentives so consumers are willing to spend more. The incentives come in various forms, from dining discounts in select establishments to prize giveaways of airline miles.
Determined to ensuring the success of the program, the Ministry of Economy of Abu Dhabi has mandated the Consumer Protection Department to ensure enjoyable and seamless consumer experiences.
The end goal is to encourage Abu Dhabi consumers to increase their spending, which in turn, will boost the country’s recovery.
One of the factors that determine Abu Dhabi’s recovery is how well it can manage the current consumer spending positive trend. In 2019, the UAE’s consumer spending experiences a 3% growth rate. In the second quarter of 2021, the growth rate is 4%.
The Abu Dhabi Consumer Protection Department plays a huge role here. As the government incentivizes consumers to spend more, the department is tasked to ensure enjoyable and seamless consumer experiences. This, in turn, encourages consumers to spend more, thus boosting the country’s recovery.