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UAE residents say luxury is a lifestyle, according to new survey...

A quarter of UAE residents take luxury items for granted as part of their lifestyle, a recent global survey has found.

Only one in five people, or 35 percent of UAE respondents, said luxury was "over and above what you need", the Synovate survey of 8,000 people in 11 countries found.

This attitude comes from the large number of designer shops, high-end hotels and plush shopping malls in the emirates, said Per-Henrik Karlsson, Synovate's business development director in Dubai.

"This creates aspirational behaviour among expats, tourists and locals alike. It starts even before you arrive, as the Emirates Airlines pre-landing video about Dubai is all about shopping, luxury cars and hotels,"

"And once on the ground, it's everywhere: the main highway is full of billboards advertising luxury brands. Even eating out in Dubai is part of this lifestyle, with some luxury brands operating their own food and beverage outlets in malls."

The Middle East mass luxury goods sector is set to grow 10 percent a year, Bahrain's Investcorp said earlier this year, boosted by the region's young population and relative wealth.

The survey found the UAE was also among the top locations for logo-branded goods, with 58 percent of residents saying they preferred to buy designer items. The other two countries were India, with 79 percent and Hong Kong with 68 percent. The country with the lowest percentage of people preferring logos was the UK with 46 percent.

"Showing off logos is not seen as bad taste; whether it's old or new money doesn't matter nearly as much as simply having money! In fact, another newly popular trend here is buying brands that sport oversize logos, like certain shirts - the more ostentatious, the better," Karlsson said.

Another statistic to come out of the survey, published in December, was that 14 percent of people in the UAE most value the feeling "that I have something my friends and colleagues do not have".

Twenty three percent of UAE residents said they purchase luxury items "As soon as I decide I want it, I buy it" - the second highest figure behind India with 28 percent.

However, consumer confidence was reported to have slipped for the first time in the UAE since March, the latest quarterly survey by Bayt.com and YouGov Siraj found.

The emirates fell by 4.8 points on the Consumer Confidence Index, Arabian Business reported on Monday.

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