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Majority of UAE residents think they are financially stable

National Bonds' survey finds that 63% of respondents intend to increase their savings

Dubai: The majority of those living in the United Arab Emirates believe they are financially stable, according to a new report by the National Bonds Corporation.

The 2015 Savings Index for the UAE released on Sunday found that 84 per cent of UAE respondents “admitted to being financially stable,” according to a statement.

But 69 per cent said they did not save in line with their plan in 2015 and 45 per cent said that 2015 was not “suitable for saving” because of “high living expenses and inflation.”

The report, which includes responses from 700 Emiratis and residents from Arab, Asian and Western countries living in the UAE, is based on a wider survey of 2,000 people living in the Gulf Cooperation council (GCC) region, according to the statement. The GCC states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Among the 700 surveyed from the UAE there were 240 Arab expatriates, 235 Emiratis, 145 Asian expatriates and 80 Western expatriates, according to a company spokesperson.

The statement did not provide a breakdown of the number of the surveyed Emiratis and Arabs, Asians and Westerners living in the UAE.

A total of 63 per cent surveyed for the UAE index said they intend to increase their savings. This included 53 per cent of Emiratis, 60 per cent of Arab expatriates, 86 per cent of Asian expatriates and 52 per cent of Western expatriates. The statement did not say over what time frame.

Of Arab expatriates, 21 per cent “indicated no interest in starting a saving plan” and 6 per cent of respondents said “they do not have any saving plan,” according to the statement.

Half of all Emiratis surveyed and 65 per cent of Asian expatriates said they plan to start saving. No time frame was given.

National Bonds chief executive Mohammed Qasim Al-Ali said “regular savers have a clear understanding of their priorities.”

“They either commit their saving plans to cover the expenses of their children’s education or provide financial security to their families. Those that do not save, however, may start saving as they worry about losing their jobs, face difficulties paying for their children’s education or simply seek high returns on their savings,” he said according to the statement.

Of those surveyed 44 per cent believed 2015 was a good year to save and the same amount expect a pay increase in 2016.

As to why 2015 was a good year to save, the 44 per cent of positive responders said “better available investment opportunities in the UAE.”

The report also revealed that 48 per cent of Western expatriates are more likely to regularly save among the surveyed . Of Asian expatriates, 44 per cent are likely to regularly save and 28 per cent of UAE and 27 per cent of Arab nationals are regular savers.

Of the regular savers, 87 per cent said they save on a monthly basis.

Asked about what may negatively affect their 2016 saving plan, 64 per cent said residential rents were their main concern, 46 per cent said service bills and 45 per cent said education expenses.

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