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In your debt

In your debt

Has debt become a thing of the past for UAE residents? Or is it just owning up to it that’s proving difficult?


February 8, 2011 4:47 by

Not only did just 12 percent of readers say they have debt in the UAE and they were seriously tempted to leave it at the airport with the keys in, just 19 percent said they had loans in the UAE that meant they weren’t in their home country (so 31 percent with AE debts overall). A mere 8 percent admit to debts back home.

Against that, a surprisingly chunky 61 percent claimed that they had no loans. The 61 percent, perhaps ironically, agreed with the statement ‘I am one of the 10 percent who don’t have any loans in the UAE.’ So either Kipp’s reader are extremely conscientious and money-wise compared to the wider population, they are in denial, or that original 90 percent was way, way out.

Because it’s more fun, we’ll assume it’s the denial. After all, a recent report in Emirates 24|7 found that paying off loans was the last priority for expats. The survey asked people, if they should win a Dh100,000 what would they spend it on? An overwhelming 51 percent said they would use it to start a business, 20 percent said they’d buy a house and 14 percent said they would spend on family. A pesky 4 percent said they would use it to pay back debt or spend it on vacation.

What is Kipp getting at? Well, it’s possible that the transitory nature of one’s stint in the UAE has caused us to disregard the severity of debt. Or, it could be that those who abandoned their cars at the airports along with million dirham debts are a source of inspiration for many. Or perhaps living off credit become a vice that has seeped into our system so deeply, that we are no longer sensitive to the very ethical dilemma we are faced with.

Or maybe Kipp is trying too hard to squeeze something out of a few dodgy surveys on what is a very slow news day. Some of us have debt, some of us don’t. Those of us who do will pay it off, apart from a few selfish fools who will run away. And 10 years down the line, nothing will have changed.

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