Why should UK businesses be targeting this market? The Chalhoub Group, the leading partner for luxury in the Middle East, revealed that visitors from the Middle East rank top for tourism spend per person in the UK.Through luxury partners such as Christian Dior, Michael Kors, FENDI and Baccarat, the report aims to offer insights into luxury consumer behaviour to aid luxury brands from the UK. The research reveals key insights into the latest, trends and changes in lifestyle that is shaping the luxury landscape overseas. Patrick Chalhoub, Co-CEO Chalhoub Group, says: “The report clearly shows that in order to be able to keep up with the habits of luxury Gulf consumers and anticipate their aspirations, luxury brands will have to tap into the societal fabric which sets the path for a very specific consumption journey as well as innovating in product design.” There are three deep-rooted consumption trends, all present among affluent Gulf nationals but to varying degrees:
The quest for indulgenceThe region’s quest for indulgence is sustained by high levels of spending. The monthly average spend among affluent nationals on beauty, fashion and gifts is £1,431. It is not only the volume spent on luxury which is high but also the frequency. On average 42 per cent of GCC luxury consumers splurge on luxury clothes on a one to two month basis, 41 per cent on luxury shoes and 37 per cent on luxury bags every two to three months.
The need for recognitionThe second luxury consumption trend, the need for recognition, is embedded in a powerful need for self-affirmation. Choice of style is a tool not only for asserting individuality but also in establishing identity: 77 per cent of GCC nationals like to create their own style, while 74 per cent claim it is important to stand out and be noticed. Alongside originality, acceptability is a parallel driver. The majority of GCC nationals feel it is important to be accepted. Iconic branding allows for visible self-affirmation and direct expression of one’s social standing. A shocking 82 per cent of Gulf nationals also want their gifts to impress, thereby enhancing the image of the giver.
Longing for bondsIntegral to the relationship between GCC consumers and luxury brands is trust. Another key to this intricate desire for bonds is found in a consumer’s immediate circle. The biggest influencers in a Gulf consumer’s life are to be found within a small intimate circle of personal relationships: 71 per cent claim the biggest influencers in life are siblings and friends, closely followed by spouse and mother. This powerful bond transfers into the arena of luxury: 79 per cent rank friends as their biggest influencers on luxury purchases. By Shané Schutte
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