Arab Luxury World 2019: Experts gather to learn more about Saudi women’s luxury spending habits

Saudi women take a complex decision-making process when purchasing a luxury item, a study noted. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 June 2019

Arab Luxury World 2019: Experts gather to learn more about Saudi women’s luxury spending habits

DUBAI: The lure of Saudi Arabia as a market for luxury retail was evident in the packed hall as Mathieu Yarak of the Choueiri Group took to the stage at the Arab Luxury World forum on Thursday to shed light on the purchasing habits of Saudi female consumers who go for luxury items.

Based on a research study conducted by the Choueiri Group in collaboration with market research firm Ipsos, the findings explained the “complex” journey an affluent Saudi woman embarks on when she decides to purchase a luxury accessory, in this case “handbags, watches and jewelry.”

A sample of 350 Saudi women of an affluent background were interviewed about their spending habits, with some surprising findings unveiled.

Yarak took to the stage in Dubai to explain the journey such women take when purchasing a luxury item, and split it into four parts: Research; shortlisting; reassurance and purchasing.

With the concept of “change or reward” listed as the top trigger when it comes to purchasing a luxury accessory, Yarak went on to explain that an overwhelming number of the women polled looked to the brand’s website to firm up their decision about what to buy, with the social media platforms coming in second.

When it comes to shortlisting the items, various factors come into play, including the brand’s identity, price and country of origin, with the traditional association of France and Switzerland with bags and watches, respectively, still holding weight in Saudi Arabia.

This, Yarak pointed out, is something luxury brands need to highlight in their conversation with Saudi women — “it’s all about heritage,” he said.

The brand’s availability in Saudi Arabia also played a major role in the polled women’s desire to purchase items, with an overwhelming chorus of “no” heard when they were asked if they are happy shopping online for high-end goods.

While the research, shortlisting and reassurance stages all take place online — with potential buyers visiting the brand’s website, luxury e-tailers and social media — the preferred point of purchase is largely bricks-and-mortar, with respondents saying the attention, care and service they receive in stores is what keep them coming back.

Participants also highlighted their desire for more localized advertising, with calls for Arabic-language campaigns and more Middle Eastern-looking faces standing out as a major opportunity for international luxury brands when it comes to their strategy in Saudi Arabia.


Victoria’s Secret model Romee Strijd is pregnant after PCOS diagnosis

Updated 30 May 2020

Victoria’s Secret model Romee Strijd is pregnant after PCOS diagnosis

DUBAI: Dutch model Romee Strijd revealed via Instagram that she and husband Laurens van Leeuwen are expecting their first child. The model’s exciting pregnancy announcement came with an honest message about struggles with her reproductive health. 

Accompanying a smiling picture of herself, her growing baby bump and her husband, Strijd wrote that she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in 2018. A common cause of infertility, PCOS is defined by hormonal imbalances that affect the ovaries and can cause fertility issues. After researching the condition, Strijd concluded that she needed to make some lifestyle changes.

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WE’RE HAVING A BABY 2 years ago I got diagnosed with PCOS after not getting my period for 7 years. I was devastated because being a mom and starting a family with @laurensvleeuwen is my biggest dream.. I was so scared that I would never be able to because I got told it was harder to get babies in a natural way.. I started to research PCOS and came to the conclusion that mine was not the typical pcos.. Mine was because of my body being in fight or flight mode.. which means my body was under constant stress. I never felt mentally super stressed so it was hard te understand this, but my life consisted of travelling all the time (no biorhythm), working out every day, eating super clean (restricting foods). I think I pressured my body to much, and honestly every body is so different but I think my weight was not good for my body to function properly and couldn’t handle the constant traveling. This was the point where I started to research natural healing for PCOS and came to the conclusion that I should do way less high intensity training, don’t restrict foods, be nice to myself, and take breaks when needed. I also tried some natural supplements, acupuncture and we got a place back in the Netherlands as well, so we could spend more time with Family (since im such a family person). I’m so happy and grateful to say that I got my period back last november AND that WE’RE SOON A FAMILY OF THREE & to the women trying to conceive, believe in yourself and be nice for yourself and your body and don’t let those thoughts get to you to much

A post shared by Romee Strijd (@romeestrijd) on

“Two years ago I got diagnosed with PCOS after not getting my period for 7 years,” the Dutch model wrote in the caption on Instagram on Thursday. “I was devastated because being a mom and starting a family with @laurensvleeuwen is my biggest dream.. I was so scared that I would never be able to because I got told it was harder to get babies in a natural way,” she continued.

“I never felt mentally super stressed so it was hard to understand this, but my life consisted of traveling all the time (no biorhythm), working out every day, eating super clean (restricting foods). I came to the conclusion that I should do way less high-intensity training, don’t restrict foods, be nice to myself and take breaks when needed. I also tried some natural supplements, acupuncture and we got a place back in the Netherlands as well, so we could spend more time with family. To the women trying to conceive, believe in yourself, and be nice for yourself and your body, and don’t let those thoughts get to you too much.” 

Strijd and van Leeuwen got married in 2018.