Young Emiratis prefer to buy a home first, while going on holidays is a more distant goal. Picture for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News

Dubai: Young UAE nationals seem to have a different mindset compared to millennials elsewhere, in terms of how they want to use money. Their preference is to buy a home first, while going on holidays is a more distant goal, according to a survey sponsored by National Bank of Fujairah.

“We are starting to see young Emiratis making calculative decisions about where to allocate their finances and what to prioritise for a successful future,” said Colin Dallas, head of Retail Banking at National Bank of Fujairah (NBF). “While there is a temptation to acquire luxury goods, their primary goals lie in obtaining home ownership,”

About a third of Emiratis feel they need to have a unique business idea in order to be successful, while 35 per cent think getting a degree from a reputable institution is a must for a successful future. “It seems young Emiratis are keeping their future at the forefront of their plans and working towards achieving their own versions of success,” Dallas said.

However, only a fifth feel that landing the right career opportunity early is a must for a successful future.

In a separate survey that spoke about UAE millennials’ aspirations, Emirates NBD pointed out that about 40 per cent created goals to save for “what they love”, or to go see new places, with the top travel destinations being Europe, Japan and Bali.

“By examining customers’ goal accounts, we can infer the priorities and responsibilities of the UAE’s millennial generation, who are proving capable of recognising the importance of saving to meet both their long- and short-term goals,” Jayash Patel, head of Liv. at Emirates NBD had said in August.

According to NBF’s survey, more than a third of Emiratis surveyed use online banking and ATMs for bank transactions. And about 45 per cent of them seek to open a bank account after getting employed.

“The survey uncovered that when choosing their banking partner, a bank’s reputation and zero-balance requirement helps define their decision. Many young nationals will consider switching banks, for better interest/profit rates and for better customer service,” Dallas said.

While 65 per cent of Emiratis indicated that both conventional and Islamic banking methods appeal to them, 33 per cent chose Islamic banking as their preference.

However, State Street Global Advisors is urging countries in the Middle East to provide retirement plans to residents. According to Alistair Byrne, head of Pensions and Retirement Strategy for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region: “We have identified simplicity, regulatory consistency, and a sense of ownership and trust as being crucial to creating retirement confidence.”

Globally, Sweden has the largest retirement coverage plan for 90 per cent of its population followed by Netherlands, at 88 per cent. The UK covered 45 per cent of its population under retirement coverage plans, while Italy had only a fifth. It had introduced private retirement savings recently and coverage ratios are still quite low.