(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Residents across the UAE have said that they are confident about improving their saving habits in 2019 compared to the previous year.
Data published in National Bonds' 2018 Savings Index showed that 92 per cent of savers in the UAE are planning to start their savings journey this year, up from 73.5 per cent in 2018. Additionally, 43 per cent of savers plan to increase their savings in 2019, and of this number, up to 39 per cent plan to start their savings in the first six months of the year. In addition, 19 per cent of residents said that they plan to stash away cash within six to 12 months.
Mohammed Qasim Al-Ali, CEO of National Bonds, noted that the UAE continues to enjoy the largest proportion of regular savers in the GCC region. "I am confident that we will continue to lead the way in this area if we strive to raise awareness levels on the importance of saving. With up to 92 per cent of respondents planning to save this year, the urge to save exists, we just need to foster and build this appetite."
A drop in rents across the UAE has meant that residents have more disposable income to save, with 52 per cent of residents stating that it is a good time to save. However, 49 per cent of poll respondents pointed to the rising cost of living as an excuse for being unable to save.
"Perceived barriers to saving include expenses, loans and a poor knowledge about savings instruments," said Al-Ali. "However, a positive view about the economic environment being conducive to saving balances this out and will help financial institutions to approach residents with suitable instruments that promote a culture of savings."
While a culture of savings exists, only a small percentage of the UAE's expansive expat community seems to have saved as much as they had hoped. While 51 per cent of the total respondents claimed to save regularly and 77 per cent stated personal savings to be very important to them, only 23 per cent of expats who moved to the UAE for savings purposes were positive about saving as much as they hoped, while 42 per cent were somewhat convinced that they had saved enough. In fact, up to 68 per cent of total respondents including UAE nationals and expats believed that it was becoming harder to save and 43 per cent hoping that they could save more.