Low-cost or “budget” airlines like Air Arabia are outperforming their more tony counterparts in the current recession, a trend that may continue even as global markets eventually stabilize. According to a recent survey of business and leisure travellers conducted by YouGovSiraj:
The number of UAE-based leisure travelers who shifted from premium to economy increased by 7% between October 2008 and January 2009. During the same period, the number of UAE-based business travelers who said they expected to fly economy increased by 12%.
Likewise, smaller cars remain in high demand, although said cars tend to be leased now instead of purchased outright. Additionally, movers and packers/freight companies in Dubai are posting good results as people are increasingly being forced to move. Finally, healthcare has been another strong, defensive sector. According to Bas AW Verhoef, VP and CEO of Philips Healthcare in Europe, Middle East and Africa, the healthcare segment of Philips has out-performed all other sectors under the Philips umbrella, globally and regionally:
“Philips Healthcare is growing very rapidly in the region, especially in Saudi Arabia. We have seen an increased demand for all our products and services. Our growth in Picture Archiving Communication System (iSite Pacs) was phenomenal. In 2007, we grew by 34% and in 2008 by around 20%, not withstanding the financial crisis.”