Survey: Young Middle East Consumers Bring Spending Back, 85% Ready to Embrace Pre-Pandemic Shopping, Travel, and Holiday Experiences

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, September 16, 2021 – Sitecore®, the global leader in digital experience management software, today released its Holiday Shopping Trends 2021 report exploring how consumers in the Middle East intend to celebrate, indulge and recuperate this holiday season.

Middle East residents are eager to resume their normal lives and make up for last year’s COVID-controlled holiday, with 85% of those age 25-34 saying they are ready to embrace pre-pandemic shopping, travel, and holiday experiences.

Four-fifths (80%) of Middle East consumers surveyed plan to make bigger and more mindful holiday purchases this year, fueled in part by the fact that 75% of Middle East consumers say they have more savings set aside for the holidays this year compared to last year.

Sitecore’s Holiday Shopping Trends 2021 report surfaces insights from consumers around holiday shopping, gift giving, spending, and sentiment. The data arms marketers in categories like retail, travel, automotive, and others with the intelligence they need to deliver winning experiences that satisfy the evolving tastes and demands of consumers.

“With 85 percent of consumers in the Middle East are very clearly ready to move on from the pandemic and are looking at Holiday 2021 as the beginning of the rest of their lives,” said Mohammed Alkhotani, Area Vice President – Middle East and Africa, Sitecore. “Our research shows pent-up demand and more savings than usual will result in younger consumers splurging on self-care and big-ticket items at the register, which is great news for those in retail, travel, and hospitality. It’s also heartening to see that 70 percent of Middle East consumers want to support their local community, including locally-owned businesses. The industry will need to respond with more offerings from these businesses.”

  • Middle East Shift in Perspective:
    • 75% of consumers would prefer experience gifts to “more stuff”
    • 81% of consumers are now planning “the trip of a lifetime”
    • 72% of consumers under the age of 44 said they are now more spontaneous, more social, and enjoying life more
  • Young Middle East consumers bringing spending back:
    • 86% of those under the age of 44 stated that following their experiences during the pandemic they now “value travel and appreciate other cultures more”
  • Middle East retailers could support more locally-owned businesses:
    • 94% of consumers believe it is essential that retailers offer more products from locally-owned businesses, but only 62% report seeing more locally-owned products when shopping
  • Buying local and being mindful with purchases is a priority for the Middle East:
    • 70% of consumers are willing to pay more for locally made gifts
    • 62% of consumers are annoyed when they find a purchase was made in China, when they thought it was a local purchase
    • 92% of consumers stated that the pandemic has made them think more carefully about how they spend their money
  • In the Middle East, self-care now includes self-gifting:
    • 44% of those buying a gift for themselves cite “therapy” as the main reason

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