The findings were compiled from telephone interviews of over 500 randomly selected consumer residents (both male and female) from all over the UAE.
The survey gained insights into how consumers in the UAE understand CSR, their level of active involvement with CSR related issues and how CSR impacts their purchasing decisions. The survey revealed that a majority of consumers (65%) would consider a company’s CSR activities as ‘very influential’ in their investment in a company. Consumers within the UAE have little understanding of general management standards such as the ISO9000 or the SA8000, however, most believe that such standards are necessary for companies in the UAE.
Consumers also believe that there must be more focus on employee related issues such as corporation providing living wages (67%), treating and paying employees well (34%) and want employee safety to be a priority (70%). The study discovered that contrary to prior beliefs, only 33% of all consumers in the UAE believe that CSR is defined as companies ‘making donations’ or ‘philanthropy’, illustrating the evolving sophistication of consumers.
When asked to rate 11 different industries on their CSR performance in the UAE, consumers ranked pharmaceuticals (41%), media (40%) and telecommunications (37%) at the top with financial services (24%), chemicals (23 %) and retail trade (14%) at the lower end.
The study concluded by indicating that overall, consumers in the UAE recognised the importance of buying from or working with corporations that share their own values and would like to be informed of companies’ CSR actions through mandatory reporting. This in turn, illustrates that companies operating in the UAE should clearly communicate their functions, commitments and initiatives to meet consumer expectations.
Formed in 2004, the Centre for Responsible Business (formerly known as the Dubai Ethics Resource Centre) is the longest standing centre promoting Business Responsibility in the UAE. As part of the Dubai Chamber, its international team of experts assist Dubai businesses to apply responsible practices that enhance performance and competitive advantage. The Centre for Responsible Business offers research, training, assessments, certification, programmes, events and advisory services that cover all aspects of CSR.
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