In 2020, the volume of beer and cider sold in the UAE lost out by 15% year-on-year (YoY), says GlobalData. But the sector will recover in the long term due to both a push for tourism and a regulatory change that allows more establishments to sell alcohol, according to the data and analytics company. There is strong promise for lager and apple cider with a 3.5-5.5% alcohol by volume (ABV), and medium-spend beer.
Holly Inglis, Beverages Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “By 2026, the UAE’s beer and cider market is expected to reach 83.51 million litres by 2026 from 2021, representing a 3.4% uplift in terms of compound annual growth rate (CAGR). While this growth is not as impressive as the rising no-ABV-content variants, which saw volume growth of 20.8% between 2017 and 2020, these products will still be up in the long term.”
Even though the likes of cider and lager may be challenged by no-ABV options, such traditional alcoholic products, will still be bought by expats and tourists – particularly in Dubai, which is set to remain an extremely popular tourism destination for international travellers.
Ralph Hollister, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Dubai is set to remain a popular destination for international tourism and fared relatively well in comparison to many other global destinations during the pandemic. Its sector saw consistent growth in the number of tourists visiting prior to the pandemic. Dubai welcomed a total of 16.7 million overnight international visitors in 2019, marking annual growth of 5.1% from 15.9 million recorded in 2018. The emirate will continue to attract international visitation by ensuring strict compliance with internationally benchmarked health and safety protocols, while continuing to invest in global marketing campaigns to maximize its visitor base.”
Of the alcoholic beverages, lager and apple cider with 3.5-5.5% ABV content were found by GlobalData to be the most consumed products within the UAE beer and cider market, in terms of volume sold. Beer was also very popular in GlobalData’s Q3-2021 survey, in which 25% of UAE respondents said they frequently purchased medium-spend beer in larger portions.
“Flavored beer is popular in the UAE, with some key flavors including black grape and strawberry – often in a non-alcoholic variant. More innovation is expected following a change to the country’s alcohol laws: a mandate that individuals had to have a licence to buy, sell or consume alcohol has now been removed. However, consumption must still only take place at private or licenced locations and participants must be over 21 years old. This, combined with a budding tourism market, will provide opportunity for alcoholic beverages moving forward,” Holly Inglis adds.
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