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Luxury spending expected to increase

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According to research, 59 per cent of luxury spenders in the Mena region are interested in spending their money on experiences rather than physical goods.

The 2014 American Express Middle East Spending Survey, conducted by YouGov and released earlier this year, reveals that 42 per cent of spenders in the Mena region prioritise luxury experiences.

The survey, comprising of results from face-to-face interviews with a random sample of 853 respondents from across the region, in Bahrain, Jordan, KSA, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and the UAE, reveals how luxury consumers are hoping to spend their money in the next year.

“In recent years, although we’ve seen a major shift in the way people spend and make luxury purchases and investments, they increasingly prioritise buying luxury experiences and the memories that go with them,” explains Mazin Khoury, CEO of American Express Middle East, in a press statement about the survey.

When focusing on the UAE, 47 per cent of respondents state that they believe that holidays ranked as the most rewarding luxury experience, followed by 45 per cent for social calendar events and 35 per cent for fine dining.

“For UAE consumers, the personal fulfilment gained from a holiday or the special experience of attending a major sporting event creates enriching moments that are increasingly regarded as the most valuable when it comes to luxury spending,” states Khoury in the press statement.

With spending on luxury experiences and goods predicted to increase in the next 12 months, according to the survey, hoteliers, airlines and retailers are expected to have a positive year in 2015.

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