UAE tops consumer spend list
Dubai, January 8, 2008
The UAE residents spend about $20,000 per year on consumer goods and services, thus topping the average of all Arab nations, according to an Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) study.
The level is far higher than spending in other Arab countries, the Abu Dhabi-based AMF study was quoted as saying in the Khaleej Times.
Qatar came second in the list with around $10 billion (an average of $12,500 per person). Kuwait ranked third, with its private consumption totalling $27.8 billion or an individual average of nearly $9,266.
Bahrain emerged as the fourth largest spender despite its relatively low oil wealth, with private consumption hitting $5.6 billion (average of $7,587 per person).
UAE bankers believe the figure is a result of the country's high per capita income, rapid economic growth, liberalism and socio-economic stability, the report said.
In 2006, the UAE’s private consumption expenditure by individuals and families on goods and services totalled $84 billion.
The figure works out as $19,761 per individual for a population of 4.25 million, it added.
Oman and Lebanon were ahead of Saudi Arabia, even though the Kingdom controls nearly a quarter of the world’s oil and has the fourth largest gas reserves, the report pointed out.
Despite Saudi Arabia’s high total consumption of nearly $88.8 billion, which surpassed that of the UAE, average individual spending stood at around $3,764 for a population of nearly 23.6 million, almost six times that of the UAE.
The report showed Mauritania, one of the poorest Arab nations, had the lowest individual spending, standing at just $362. Djibouti also had a low average of around $795, while the report gave no figures for Somalia and Palestine.
The report gave no figures for 2007, but the AMF said the UAE was expected to remain at the top given the surge in the economy and income levels.-TradeArabia News Service