Middle East consumers value sustainability, says new report  


Consumers in the region are increasingly valuing sustainability, according to the Middle East section of Price Waterhouse Coopers’ Global Consumer Insights Survey 2021.  

Completed by consumers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the survey revealed 70 per cent of shoppers engage in sustainable behaviours. 

Regional consumers also consistently outperformed global consumers in the parameters defining sustainable behaviours. 

For instance, 75 per cent of regional consumers reported buying from environmentally conscious companies, compared to 54 per cent globally.    

Retailers’ transparency and the traceability of their products was valued by 72 per cent of consumers in the region, compared to 55 per cent of global consumers.  

These statistics build on those revealed in Ernst and Young’s survey conducted in 2020 investigating Middle East consumers’ affinity for sustainability.  

Fifty-seven per cent of consumers reported a willingness to buy products from retailers that prioritise the environment.  

In addition, 22 per cent reported that in three years, sustainability would be their first criterion when shopping, with 48 per cent willing to do so higher costs.  

These shifts in consumers’ sustainability behaviour may be attributed to the region’s dedication to eco-friendly behaviour, according to global consultancy firm Boston Consulting Group.  

Qatar pledged to convert 25 per cent of its bus fleet to run electrically ahead of hosting the FIFA World Cup this November. Construction of the site will also adhere to sustainable practices.  

In the UAE, sustainability was highlighted as one of Expo 2020’s pillars, and the kingdom regarded ‘safeguarding the planet’ as a priority at the 2020 G20 Riyadh Summit. 

Majid Al Futtaim, a leading retail conglomerate in the region, has reduced water consumption and single-use plastic, and increased its use of renewable energy. 

Individual brands in the UAE have also committed to sustainability, with Nike’s Mall of the Emirates store replacing convention LED screens with transparent LED window displays. In addition, it stocks sustainably manufactured products for UAE consumers.  

With companies and consumers alike prioritising sustainability and environmentally friendly behaviour,