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When you save nothing at all…

Why aren't we saving more?

We just love our tax-free salary, but what are we doing with it?

March 12, 2013 12:14 by

Here in the UAE, we have a severe absence of a savings culture, that’s been said and proven time and time again. The image of a tax-free salary and comfortable lifestyle continues to attract thousands of expatriates from all over the world to leave their homes, jobs and  even families, to come here for a better life. But are we saving this ‘extra’ money we’re supposedly earning here? The results of yet another survey say otherwise., a leading price comparison site in the Middle East, says that 65 percent of their 900 respondents admit they want to be saving more than they actually are. So, on the bright side, at least there’s a desire to save, but half of them claim they save absolutely nothing at all, while 44 percent complain that they’re saving less than they did three years ago.

“The combination of high living costs, the perception of “being rich” due to no taxes and a lack of education on how to manage income and debt could explain the results of our survey,’ says Ambareen Musa, Souqalmal’s founder.

“While enjoying a good quality of life now is important, saving adequate amounts for the future is even more so, especially as people typically do not accrue social benefits while working in the UAE,” says Musa.

The next bit of the study groups the best savers in the country according to their nationality – and if you’d allow Kipp to slightly digress – we must say we aren’t completely fond of segregation by nationality. But here are the facts if you’re interested.

Apparently, western expats are the best savers; being able to put 10 to 30 percent of their monthly income away, followed by Asian expats, with one third of them saving within that same range. Thirty percent of nationals in the UAE do not save any money at all and, lastly, the study suggests that ‘Arab expats seem to find it harder to save’ with 12 percent admitting they don’t even know how to save and 32 percent claiming they save nothing at all.

Do you manage to put away a piece of your salary for a rainy day? If not, tell us why.

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  1. vinny on March 13, 2013 1:06 am

    purchase a property in your country ,take a loan from any bank and set a monthly settlement here your saving is safe
    unless open a bank account blocked and monthly spare an amount forget this account till you retired or when you decide to leave this beatifull country its a great country for saving and live in a good living methode if you can’t so don’t come to uae,we say love it or leave it so decide

  2. chaz on March 13, 2013 6:02 am

    sentiments aside, where are the incentives to save in Dubai anyway?
    Interest bank rates of 1.5% are not what is needed.
    Maybe because banks just want us to borrow all the time here?

  3. chaz on March 13, 2013 6:05 am

    sentiments aside, where are the incentive to save in Dubai anyway?
    Interest bank rates of 1.5% are not what is needed.
    Maybe because banks just want us to borrow all the time here?

  4. M. Aldalou on March 13, 2013 8:16 am

    Yeah, Chaz. You’re right about the last bit – banks constantly pushing us to borrow all the time. Yeah I think you’ve got your finger on the pulse there, no incentive to really save here.

  5. M. Aldalou on March 13, 2013 8:17 am

    Vinny, thanks for your comment. Once again, we hear the classic ‘if you don’t like the UAE don’t come here’ and this time not from a local.

    Nobody said anything about liking the UAE. All this survey – along with tens of others a year – are saying is that people whether westerners, Arabs, Asians and Emiratis are not saving as much as they should be.


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