Purchasing Power
for the United Arab Emirates

Purchasing Power
for the United Arab Emirates

Purchasing Power describes the disposable income of populated areas across the United Arab Emirates. It is a key indicator for sound location and sales territory planning.

Purchasing Power

Purchasing Power for the United Arab Emirates

This Purchasing Power data product describes the disposable income of households (before taxes) in populated areas within the United Arab Emirates and an extensive range of other countries. It is an important indicator of consumer potential and a key planning tool for optimising market location and understanding sales territories. This product allows you to explore regional markets with increased precision. Consistent and comparable data, with seamless transitions across borders, make this product ideal for international projects.

Purchasing Power for the United Arab Emirates can be purchased on its own or bundled with GIS polygon data for administrative regions, postcodes and small areas. This effective combination will allow you to perform enlightening analysis supported by stunning visualisations.

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Flag of the United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates – Regions and Sectors

Number of Regions
Avg Population / Region
Situated in western Asia, at the eastern point of the Arabian Peninsula, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country made up of a federation of seven emirates, each one governed by an Emir. The emirates comprise: Abu Dhabi (the largest), Ajman, Dubai (the most populous), Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. The UAE shares land borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia and has coastline along the Persian Gulf. The capital is Abu Dhabi.
For centuries the harsh desert area now known as UAE was home to versatile nomadic tribes and became a dominant trading point in the Persian Gulf. From the 1500s colonial expansion by the British, Dutch and Portuguese, led to European interest in the area. In 1820, the British signed a truce with leaders in the area to protect their shipping routes from piracy and in turn, to protect the coastal interests of the states which became known as the Trucial States. In 1952, oil was discovered in the region and the seven states formed the Trucial Council, under UK administration. It became clear that this was not viable and the UAE gained independence from Britain in 1971. The first national elections took place in 2006 and UAE is now run as a federal constitutional monarchy, made up of the seven Emirates, or Sheikhdoms. Together the hereditary Sheikhs (or Emirs) form a Federal Supreme Council, with one of them taking the role of leader of the council and thus President of the UAE.
Until the discovery of oil, the main contributions to the economy were fishing and pearl fishing. The economy has changed dramatically since then and revenue from oil and gas has transformed the country. Shrewd economic leadership has led to significant diversification of the economy and huge undertakings in the construction industry. Oil and gas still account for just over a quarter of economic revenues, but the service sector, especially tourism, has boomed. Sophisticated general infrastructure and IT infrastructure has ensured that UAE has attracted numerous companies and is considered a business hub. Dubai airport is now the busiest airport in the world. The majority of the population comprises working foreign nationals, and over two-thirds of the population live in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Perceived as more liberal than its neighbours, UAE still has challenges to face in human rights arena, with particular regard to treatment of migrant workers.
Cultural influences in the UAE are Arabian with Persian, African and Indian accents. Architecture is notably Arabian in style. Music and poetry are important and the small but growing cinema scene is thriving. Investment has been made in creating UAE as an artistic hub. Museums have been developed and Abu Dhabi has established a culture district and has attracted the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Formula One, soccer and cricket are the most important sports, and Abu Dhabi hosts a Grand Prix.
On the world stage, UAE is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League and OPEC.

Product details

Purchasing Power for the United Arab Emirates
Administrative Postcode Small Area
Region Type Regions and Sectors
Number of Regions 17
Average Population/Region 580,000
Additional data variables available (described below):
Retail Spend1
Retail Turnover12
Retail Centrality123
Consumer Spend by Product Groups1

1 Includes population data
2 Only administrative municipalities with 10,000 and more inhabitants
3 Includes retail spend and retail turnover

Additional variables

Please see the table above for availability of the following additional variables.

Retail spend

Retail spend refers to the potential share for retailers of the purchasing power of households within a given populated area. It is calculated as general purchasing power, less fixed expenditure. High quality, proven retail spend data is available on a municipality, postcode and small area basis.

Retail turnover

Retail turnover refers to the turnover of local retail trade. In contrast to purchasing power and retail spend, retail turnover quantifies purchases at the consumers’ place of expenditure. High quality, proven retail turnover is available on a municipality, postcode and small area basis.

Retail centrality index

The retail centrality index describes the capacity of a given area to attach the retail spend of its own population, as well as incoming shoppers from other areas, to the local retail trade. Cities with a high ‘shopping appeal’ have a centrality index of over 100. This is because they attract more shoppers and retail spend from surrounding areas than they emit in return. The retail centrality index is available at municipality and postcode code level.

Consumer spend by product groups

Consumer spend by product group quantifies the expenditure by consumers on specific groups of goods or services.

Whilst purchasing power is the most commonly used indicator for a region’s potential, it is not necessarily the most appropriate planning tool for all goods and services, as for some, patterns of consumer behaviour do not relate exclusively to disposable income. In order to respond to the nuances of the market, the general purchasing power values have been enhanced and recalculated based on consumer spend for twenty product categories.

Product categories include: food and non-alcoholic beverages; alcoholic beverages, tobacco, clothing, footwear, furniture & furnishings (carpets and other floor coverings), household textiles, household appliances, glassware (inc. tableware & household utensils), tools and equipment for house and garden, routine household maintenance, medical products, appliances and equipment, consumer electronics (inc. photographic and IT equipment), durables for recreation and culture, toys and games (inc. hobby, sport, garden, pets), recreational and cultural services, newspapers (inc. books and stationery), catering services, personal care and jewellery (inc. clocks, watches and other personal effects).

Looking beyond the United Arab Emirates? Purchasing Power data is available for a wide range of countries…

Data formats & delivery

Purchasing Power for the United Arab Emirates is available in many popular GIS formats, including:

  • Esri Shapefile
  • Esri File GeoDatabase
  • MapInfo TAB (Extended)

All data products are delivered using our secure data delivery platform, Europa Data Vault.

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