Saving money is the only way to safeguard your future. Image Credit: Prasad Nair/Gulf News

Eighty seven per cent of UAE residents do not believe that their current savings are adequate for the future, according to the results of a survey by the National Bonds Corporation.

The 2012 National Bonds UAE Savings Index also revealed that just one per cent of UAE residents described their savings as more than enough for their future.

The annual survey, now in its third year, is a comprehensive study of the behaviour and attitudes of residents in the UAE towards saving and spending their money.

The survey was carried out across a range of different respondents that included: UAE nationals, Arab expatriates, Asian expatriates and Westerners.

The results of this year’s survey reveal that saving for one’s retirement replaced saving for children’s education as the number one reason for saving in the UAE, while the purchase of property for personal use was listed as the third most important priority among residents.

The result indicates that there is an increasing trend in the UAE of residents looking further beyond the immediate future in regards to their savings.

The results of the survey also revealed that the top three priorities: saving for retirement, children’s education and purchase of property were consistent across Emiratis, Arab expats, Asian expats and Western expats.

In addition saving for weddings was a high priority for Emiratis two years, but dropped to being listed as the tenth priority falling behind expenses such as the purchase of a car or house renovation.

According to Mohammad Qasim Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer, National Bonds Corporation, the results of the survey were indicative of the fact that residents in the UAE are becoming increasingly wiser about saving for their future.

“While this year’s index indicates that there is still a long way to go, it has demonstrated to us that we are predicting trends correctly in our efforts here at National Bonds to support people with the right tools to make them regular savers,” said Al Ali.

However, Al Ali noted that financial planning was not something that residents in the UAE were accustomed to. He explained that the strength of an economy depended on its people’s savings and that every country needed a healthy savings culture.

“Saving and finance management should also be made a part of school curriculums so that young individuals are better equipped to manage their finances once they start working,” advised Al Ali.

The index also revealed that on an individual emirate level, there was an increase in positive savings sentiments across all the emirates except Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

According to Al Ali the main reason for this was because of the high cost of living in both emirates, as well as the proximity and allure of the large number of malls that offer high-end luxury products to residents.

Rohma Sadaqat is a trainee at Gulf News