Edited by Russell W. Belk, Giana M. Eckhardt and Fleura Bardhi
Chapter 6: To own or to access? An exploration of sharing and access practices by Arab millennials
The popularity of a digitally powered sharing economy and of access-based consumption practices continue to grow globally amongst consumers, who increasingly value these alternative forms of consumption over traditional ownership. While marketing research has explored these well-established practices in several Western contexts, their presence and rise in the Arab world has remained unexplored. This chapter examines the wide adoption of sharing and access practices within the Arab context and focuses on the consumption habits of the millennial segment. Firstly, the authors offer a brief historical discussion around the evolution of sharing practices in the Arab context, which has a distinctive history and tradition of ownership and communal property rights. Secondly, they critically discuss three access-based transportation service examples in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Lebanon to explore the motives of contemporary young Arab consumers in engaging with non-ownership consumption practices. Finally, they draw wider conclusions and recommendations for future research regarding the rise of access-based consumption practices in the Arab countries and the evolution of the term “sharing,” from a socio-cultural perspective.
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