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Encourage thrift among the youth

Gulf News editorial: Young Emiratis should be rewarded for saving and investing rather than spending

Gulf News

When it comes to the image of Emiratis, it is important that all factors are taken into consideration. Not only should there be a fair assessment but also encouragement for good practice and behaviour.

A recent study has found that Emirati males are the UAE's biggest youth spenders. On average, this group will spend no less than Dh2,000 a month on mobile phones, fashion and accessories. In addition, these Emirati males are dependent on bank loans to give a lifeline to their high spending habits. What is interesting, though, is the fact that this kind of spending is being carried out because this group wants to maintain an image, reinforcing a stereotype held by expatriates that all Emiratis are wealthy.

But this is not the entire picture as there are Emiratis who have made it a habit to save and invest their savings appropriately, rather than go on a spending spree and be burdened by debt. And it is this habit that should be highlighted by various institutions, including financial entities such as banks as well as the government. Young Emiratis in fact should be encouraged and rewarded for saving rather than spending.