Up to 85% of UAE residents not saving enough for their future – report

Survey finds that 41 per cent of UAE respondents plan to start saving in 2018

Up to 85 per cent of UAE residents feel that they are not saving enough for their future, the 2017 Savings Index by National Bonds Corporation has found.

The figure is slightly lower compared to 89 per cent in 2016, the survey found.

This year’s report also found that 41 per cent of respondents in the UAE plan to start saving in 2018, while 57 per cent plan to increase their savings in this year, compared to 64 per cent in 2017.

Asked why it was a good time to save, 43 per cent of UAE residents cited better investment opportunities.

Mohammed Qasim Al-Ali, CEO, National Bonds Corporation said: “The results of the 2017 Savings Index highlight that, although people want to save, they do not always have the tools or know-how to do so. While it is not surprising to see that residents in the UAE are not saving as much as they believe they should, it is interesting to see the disconnect between the intent to save and the numbers of people saving year-on-year.”

While 77 per cent of those surveyed in the UAE believe that saving is important, 68 per cent also claimed that their financial stability contributes to their overall happiness.

The report also found measurements for overall happiness included taking out health insurance, life insurance and saving enough to put their children through university.

Al-Ali added: “Education, however contrived, remains integral to increasing savings across the nation. The UAE has the largest portion of regular savers in the GCC… Just look at the statistics, nearly half of residents aim to save more in 2018 – the appetite is there, we just need to tap into it.”

The index, which surveyed 1320 participants across the GCC, also found that over 66 per cent of those surveyed in the region believe that savings is important.

While 67 per cent of the respondents said they aim to increase their savings in the next six months, 59 per cent cited ‘making their families happier’ as the main reason for saving.

The report also found that, at 42 per cent, respondents in Saudi Arabia are the most positive about the present savings environment, compared to 30 per cent in the UAE and 30 per cent in other GCC countries.

Overall, the UAE has the largest proportion of regular savers, at 42 per cent, compared to 27 per cent in Saudi Arabia and 23 per cent in other GCC countries.

“It seems, overall, people are positive about the economic environment in the region,” Al-Ali said.

“The IMF has predicated global activity will gain momentum in 2018, and with the growth predicted here in the GCC, the savings environment looks set to increase in 2018. The more money people have, the more they should be saving. It is as simple as that,” he added.