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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 13/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) People living in Oman and Jordan are the most conservative shoppers, spending less than US250 (approximately RO96.2) per month, even as spending on premium goods and experiences by consumers in the Middle East is on the rise, according to the new American Express Middle East Luxury Spending Tracker.Surveying a random sample of 1,000 residents drawn from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and UAE, the tracker found that residents of Qatar are the biggest buyers of luxury goods across the Middle East, closely followed by consumers in Bahrain.As the biggest luxury buyers, Qataris spend up to US5,000 a month on luxury goods while consumers in Oman and Jordan are the most conservative shoppers, spending less than US250 per month.The survey revealed that in all markets except the UAE, consumers plan to increase spending on luxury goods and experiences through the end of 2012, as personal circumstances improve and they develop greater awareness of brands and high quality products.''Consumer attitudes towards spending have begun to improve significantly and there is a noticeable rise in spending on luxury goods and experiences across the region,'' said Mazin Khoury, chief executive officer, American Express Middle East.He said consumers nowadays have become more conscious of the cost of products and services, and insist on getting maximum value for their money.''The inclination towards acquiring tangible luxury goods as opposed to participating in luxury experiences is in keeping with the new consumer sentiment that demands greater value for money. Tangible luxury offers greater perceived value as consumers can experience the rewards of their investment over a longer period.''Besides looking at levels of spending, the survey also explored the most influential factors - when consumers make luxury purchasing decisions and where they prefer to shop.Luxury products such as cars, high-end electronic goods and fashion accessories were identified by respondents as preferred purchases over experiential luxury such as holidays and spa treatments this year.Fashion topped the list of preferred purchases in 2012, with 37 per cent of respondents saying they enjoyed shopping for fashion-related items.The survey also found that quality and brand name are the leading factors which influence consumers' luxury purchasing decisions. ''Those surveyed said that the brand name was key in determining spend, in addition to sales, price reductions and advertising,'' Khoury said.


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