UAE residents' savings plans this year affected by rent, bills and school fees

Nearly 70 per cent of people in the UAE saved less last year than they had planned, according to a survey by National Bonds.

The Sharia-compliant savings scheme polled 2,000 residents comprising Emiratis, western, Asian and Arab expatriates.

When asked what affects their savings plans for this year, 64 per cent cited residential rents as the main concern, 46 per cent mentioned bills and 45 per cent regarded the rise in school fees as a hindrance to saving.

About 84 per cent of those polled believed they have not saved enough for their future, compared with 77 per cent in a similar study in 2014.

“This indicates an increasing awareness of the importance of saving year after year and that people’s dissatisfaction serves as a high motivation to continue and grow their savings,” said Mohammed Qasim Al Ali, the chief executive of National Bonds.

In the context of regular saving, the index showed that western expatriates, with a 48 per cent share, are the most committed to regular saving, followed closely by Asians at 44 per cent. UAE and Arab nationals scored 28 per cent and 27 per cent respectively.

“I made sure I saved more in 2015, because I’m not sure about the future of my job,” said Jonathan Farmer, an Australian media consultant in Dubai.

“It wasn’t easy but I stopped the brunches and the lunches and the going out and it seems to have paid off. Nothing has actually changed, but my job feels more secure and I have a significant uptick in my savings, which I’m trying to continue.”

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