UAE sees surge in potential for savings, reveals findings


National Bonds Corporation, the leading UAE company specialised in a unique and investment Sharia compliant programme, released its 2015 Savings Index findings based on a survey conducted among 2,000
respondents in the GCC region.
Compiled by Sondos Market Research, the survey aimed to gain feedback on three key areas: financial stability, potential of saving and existence of an enabling saving environment in their respective countries. Out of the total sample size, nearly 700 comprised UAE residents of Emirati, Arab, Western and Asian nationalities. In key outcomes, the UAE results indicate a significant increase in potential for saving and an overall positive outlook on financial stability in the nation.
More specifically, 84% of the respondents in the UAE admitted to being financially stable. Of the 63% that expressed intent to increase their savings, 53% comprised UAE nationals, 60% Arab expatriates, 86% Asian expatriates and 52% were Western expatriates. Only 6% of the respondents said they do not have any saving plan yet, while 50% of UAE nationals and 65% of Asian expatriates said they plan to start saving, and 21% of Arab expatriates indicated no interest in starting a savings plan.
An increased 30% of the respondents in the UAE regarded 2015 as suitable for saving, compared to 26% in 2014. While 36% of UAE nationals and 34% of Asian respondents thought 2015 was suitable for saving, 35% of Arab expatriates thought 2015 was unsuitable for saving, and 61% of Western expats preferred not to answer.
Responding to questions on why 2015 was a good year for saving, 44% of the respondents cited better available investment opportunities in the UAE. On the flip side, 45% said that high living expenses and inflation were the main reasons that 2015 was not suitable for saving. Interestingly, 44% of the respondents expected their income to increase in 2016.

In the context of regular saving, the index has revealed that Western expatriates are the most committed to regular saving. Leading with 48%, Western expatriates are closely followed by Asians at 44%, while UAE and Arab nationals scored 28% and 27% respectively. Among those that save regularly, 87% said they save on a monthly basis.

On whether savings occurred in line with their 2015 plans, 69% of those surveyed replied in the negative, while 74% of Arab expatriates admitted to saving less than planned compared to 70% for Westerners, 65% for Asians and 63% for UAE nationals.

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