Most KSA and UAE consumers will spend during Black Friday

27 November 2020 2 min. read

Over three quarters of consumers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE is planning to buy something this weekend, when the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping craze unfolds. 

A survey by global consulting firm Simon-Kucher & Partners looked into the buying appetite of consumers globally, surveying more than 11,000 people across 14 countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

Originating in the United States, Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving and notorious for the shopping frenzy which it unleashes among consumers as they prepare for Thanksgiving and seek to monetise the large discounts offered by retailers. Black Friday has since its inception in the 1960’s grown into the largest shopping feast in the world, behind Singles Days – a Chinese feast that celebrates singlehood similar to Valentines Day in other parts of the world. 

Percentage of consumers that plan to buy

Across all countries surveyed, respondents overwhelmingly said they are familiar with Black Friday. In the UAE, 100% of respondents indicated they are familiar with the holiday shopping event while 98% of respondents in Saudi Arabia said they are familiar with Black Friday.

The lion’s share of consumers globally (around 50%) said that they have a strong willingness to buy something, if a right deal is found. The UAE in fact has the highest willingness to buy (85%) behind only the shopping hungry Chinese (95%), ahead of the likes of Australia (62%), Germany (50%) and Denmark (29%). In Saudi Arabia, the willingness to buy is 77% this year.

Big spenders

On average, shoppers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE plan to spend $400 on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. This is markedly higher than the global average, which stands between $230 and $300, according to Simon-Kucher’s estimates. 

Preferred shopping channels of consumers

“Black Friday is seen as an attractive moment to save money on planned purchases. This reveals a major opportunity for retailers to sharpen their promotions and maximise cross-sell opportunities as consumers will be browsing across multiple categories,” said Lovrenc Kessler, a managing partner at Simon-Kucher in Dubai.


Not surprisingly, the majority of respondents plans to shop online, mainly for safety reasons. For retailers, this means that they need to look beyond traditional tactics they’ve relied on in years past to boost foot traffic to brick-and-mortar shops, and focus more on ecommerce and offering a seamless omnichannel experience.

According to a study by Kearney, GCC's e-commerce sector was already surging ahead before the Covid-19 outbreak, and since, online sales in many segments (such as a traditional laggard as grocery) has accelerated further.