By Ben Carsley, Managing Editor (@BC_PYMNTS)
Consumers in the UAE have more confidence in their economic standing than ever before.
That finding comes to us from the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence, released on August 27. The index ranks confidence on a zero-100 scale, with zero representing the most pessimistic and 100 the most optimistic scores.
The latest version of the index indicates that consumers in the UAE have a confidence score of 94.7: the highest mark ever for the country.
“Over the past few years, the UAE has firmly positioned itself as an attractive global destination where business, leisure and cosmopolitan living merge. Confidence among UAE consumers has largely been upwards and today we are delighted to announce that it has reached its all-time high,” said Eyad Al-Kourdi, UAE country manager, MasterCard.
What has consumers in the UAE feeling so confident and how do they compare to their neighbors in the Middle East?
Feeling Fine Across Five Indicators
Consumers weighed in as “extremely optimistic” across all five indicators that the Index measured, feeling best about the economy, with a 96.8 score, and employment, with a score of 96.1. Quality of life ranked in the middle with a score of 94.5, while consumer sentiment centering on regular income and the stock market finished with respective scores of 93.1 and 92.8.
This marked an uptick from six months ago across all categories save for quality of life, which fell from a previous mark of 95.6.
Comparing Confidence In The Middle East
MasterCard also revealed results for six other countries in the Middle East, and while the UAE did not rank as the region’s most optimistic country it fared well in comparison to many others.
Kuwait finished first among Middle Eastern countries with an overall score of 96.8, barely edging out Qatar and its score of 96.4. The UAE then placed third with its 94.7 mark, closely followed by Saudi Arabia at 93.3. Oman ranked as the final country squarely in the optimistic range, grabbing a score of 87.1.
Egypt and Lebanon, however, posted respective scores of 54.1 and 26.9, bringing down the total measure of consumer confidence in the Middle East to 78.5.
To see more from the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence -including whether men or women in the region are more optimistic - read the full results here.