UAE teenagers spend triple the global average

Teens spend $71 a week compared with an international average of $21

The UAE, the country with the largest shopping mall in the world, is home to some of the biggest spenders too, The National reported on Friday.

A report released in May by the Dubai-based market research firm AMRB and its international counterpart TRU found that UAE teenagers spent more than triple the global average.

On average, 12- to 19-year-olds here spent $71 (Dh260) a week compared with an international average of $21. The only teenagers in the world who spent as much were Norwegians.

The study, which looked at the lifestyles of teenagers across 23 countries worldwide, included three Arab countries – the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

It found that UAE teenagers were much like those anywhere else – they spent a lot of time online visiting websites such as Facebook and blogs. Celebrity culture and music were also a major pastime. But spending set them apart from teenagers elsewhere in the world.

At $46 a week, teenagers in Saudi Arabia spent far less than Emirati teens.

Emirati teenagers were also less likely to earn their spending money themselves and were less likely to save. While Egyptian teenagers spent all of their $6 allowance, teenagers in India saved a third of the $3 that their parents gave them.

The study also found key differences in spending habits between the genders. Girls outspent boys by almost 20 per cent. They spent more on clothing and make-up, while boys spent more on electronics.

The study also found that Emirati teenagers spent $25 a month on cosmetics, compared with a global average of $6. They preferred smartphones over mobile phones. A quarter of Emirati teenagers owned smartphones compared with 11 per cent globally.

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