UAE Residents Want More Value for Money As Spending Habits Change


Research commissioned by Al-Futtaim Malls uncovers new priorities and concerns in UAE following the global lockdown

Dubai, UAE: A survey commissioned by Al-Futtaim Malls has revealed that for more than half of UAE residents, value for money is now the top consideration when deciding where to shop. 47% of survey respondents place more value on money than before the pandemic and 48% look for more offers and deals than before.

As governments across the world took measures to curb the spread of the global pandemic, 67% of survey respondents’ household income was impacted, resulting in a decrease in disposable income for almost two thirds of respondents. Consequentially, spending decisions are now largely driven by the perceived value that consumers get for their money. One quarter of UAE residents strongly felt that they are missing out on great offers because they don’t have a loyalty or rewards card. Last month, Al-Futtaim Malls launched the Festival Rewards app, giving shoppers a host of offers across Festival Plaza and Dubai Festival City Mall, all conveniently housed in one app. 

The research study was commissioned in line with Al-Futtaim Malls’ commitment to understanding the needs of consumers to create exceptional experiences for them and deliver on the Al-Futtaim promise of enriching every day. One thousand respondents in the UAE were surveyed with the aim of understanding how spending habits have changed in the post-COVID era. 

Commenting the survey, Timothy Earnest, Group Director at Al-Futtaim Malls said, “We are committed to creating exceptional experiences for our customers and this starts with understanding their needs. The global pandemic has brought new standards in consumer expectations of value and what they expect from retailers. At Al-Futtaim Malls, we are constantly listening to feedback from our customers, which enabled us to launch the Festival Rewards app last month that provides our customers with just the kind of convenience that they are looking for. This survey tells us that visitors want retailers to provide value, rewards and incentives and we are well-positioned to deliver this through more exciting offers all in a few clicks on the app.”

With access to a bustling retail, dining and entertainment sector, close to 50% of people in the UAE own between two and five loyalty or rewards cards. Managing these cards could be a chore, as 62% of the people surveyed said that they forget to carry their loyalty or rewards cards to the places where they could use them. The Festival Rewards app is a fitting solution for UAE residents as 45% of respondents strongly agreed that it would be useful to have all their loyalty cards, rewards and discounts in one place. 

In the current market conditions, the Festival Rewards app addresses consumers’ concerns about how they spend their money. By including a range of retail, dining and entertainment offers in one convenient, easy-to-use app, the Festival Rewards app makes it a breeze for consumers to keep track of the best offers and plan their spending accordingly. The survey revealed that the top things people now enjoy spending on are eating out (45%), items for the house (44%) and clothes (43%) – all covered under the more than 100 retail outlets listed on the app. 

Home to some of the biggest events, rewards and giveaways, Al-Futtaim Malls constantly brings the best in retail to its broad range of shoppers. The Festival Rewards app is free to download and has offers from some of the most loved retail brands including BOUNCE-X, Bath & Body Works, Tips & Toes and Marks & Spencer and restaurants like Wendys, Zaatar w Zeit and Pappa Roti.

About Al-Futtaim:

Established in the 1930s as a trading business, Al-Futtaim today, is one of the most diversified and progressive, privately held regional businesses headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Structured into five operating divisions; automotive, financial services, real estate, retail and health; employing more than 42,000 employees across 29 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, we partner with over 200 of the world’s most admired and innovative brands. 

Al-Futtaim’s entrepreneurship and relentless customer focus enables the organisation to continue to grow and expand; responding to the changing needs of our customers within the societies in which we operate.

By upholding our values of respect, excellence, collaboration, integrity; Al-Futtaim continues to enrich the lives and aspirations of our customers each and every day.

About Dubai Festival City Mall:

Dubai Festival City Mall is one of the major shopping destinations in Dubai. With over 400 outlets, the mall is home to IKEA, renowned fashion brands like Zara, H&M, Coach, Kate Spade and for the first time in the Middle East, luxury Singaporean department store, Robinsons. 

The dining destination offers iconic waterfront Dining on Festival Bay, 56 restaurants and cafés, the largest Food Court in Dubai and is first to market F&B concepts like Sugar Factory, Tortilla, and the Middle East’s only Hard Rock Café. The entertainment venue offers a 7-star 18-Screen Novo Cinemas with 4D IMAX, Fabyland, a 70,000 sq. ft. family entertainment centre, the world’s first Freestyle Terrain Park Bounce-X and the global attraction IMAGINE. 

About Festival Plaza:

Opened in December 2019, Festival Plaza is Al-Futtaim’s latest local community shopping project in the South of Dubai. The huge retail precinct covers 64,800 square metres and serves as a convenient and local lifestyle destination at the centre of the upcoming Wasl Gate community. 

The shopping destination is home to much-loved flagship stores including IKEA, M&S and a new concept store from Lulu Hypermarket. These stores are joined by over 120 others, as well as complimented by a 500-seat food court, over 40 dining and eating options, a Stay and Play offering, family entertainment Kids Club and over 2,300 parking spaces.