Dubai, United Arab Emirates - August 30 2012 - Mohammed Qasim Al Ali, CEO of National Bonds speaks at a media roundtable event on the newly launched Shariah compliant National Bonds Takaful plan to encourage people to save. (Razan Alzayani / The National)
Mohammed Qasim Al Ali, the chief executive of National Bonds, said many residents have 'a mental barrier' when it comes to saving. Razan Alzayani / The National

85% of UAE residents still not saving enough for their future: National Bonds



More than eight in 10 UAE residents feel they are still not saving enough for their future, the latest Savings Index from National Bonds Corporation has revealed at a time when many are struggling with cost of living increases.

Eighty-five per cent of those polled for the Dubai investment company's latest Savings Index said they are not stashing enough cash and while 57 per cent of savers plan to increase their savings this year - this is less than the 64 per cent quoted in 2017.

Mohammed Al Ali, the chief executive of National Bonds, said the index, which first launched in 2011, indicates that many residents have 'a mental barrier' when it comes to saving, mistakenly believing they are "barely catching up with inflation".

"People are not accustomed to planning ahead in their life. They live day to day, month to month and as long as they are running along they think they are in safe haven," he told The National. "Unfortunately it does not work that way and the moment a crisis hits in their lives, they find out that they don't have enough to cater for that emergency."

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Read more:

National Bonds says higher rates to attract more savers this year

National Bonds challenges UAE's 'financial advice dilemma' with new investment app

Geneva most expensive expatriate city in the world, new study says

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The latest index comes at a time when UAE residents are struggling with the rising cost of living. Dubai, for example, was billed as the third most expensive expatriate destination in the world, according to a study released last week by UBS.

Steve Cronin of DeadSimpleSaving.com, a website to help residents invest their own money, said it is concerning that fewer people than last year are expecting to save more in 2018.

"This is likely due to people feeling the squeeze from the rising cost of living rather than an insistence on an extravagant life," he said. "More people are becoming conscious of their spending and trying to trim their lifestyle accordingly. This may be out of necessity to stay above water rather than a clear plan to save money."

However, Mr Al Ali said residents are mistaken in their perception that they are struggling.

"Have you noticed that rents have dipped down by about 15 to 20 per cent in certain places?" he said. "Now, if my rent has dipped down by 15 to 20 per cent – is that not more than enough to cope with the rise in inflation? Inflation is running about 3 to 4 per cent. I think if people reassess their expenses – they can find ways to save."

National Bonds’ survey of 1,300 people across the GCC also indicated that residents are keen to save but for many it is something they plan to do in the future. Forty-one per cent of respondents are only planning to start their savings journey this year while two thirds of savers in the wider region aimed to increase their savings in the next six months.

Mr Al Ali said the results indicate that although people want to save, they do not always have the tools or know-how to do so. “The wish is there to save but the discipline and the action is not matching the wish," he said. "Remember that financial literacy is not prevailing enough among the public and the UAE gives people a very good lifestyle, so many do not put money aside.

To help solve this disconnect, Mr Al Ali said residents need to be more disciplined and start saving immediately, rather than delaying for a future date.

"The golden rule here is that you have to pay yourself first," he said. "A lot of people are failing to do that – they pay others – they pay for their TV, their phone bill, the electricity bill, the rent etc, but they don’t pay themselves first."

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Read more:

Personal finance in the UAE: Residents track finances better but struggle with saving and debt

Lower confidence of job security and chances of pay rises, say UAE residents as cost of living increases bite back

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How to start saving today

Developing a plan to increase your savings rate will help to reduce money worries in the future, according to Mr Cronin, who said it is "not something to put off until next year". His top tips to help you start saving straightaway are:

• Decide that you are going to start being good with money from today.

• Pull together all your major assets (cash, gold, property, stock, bonds, pensions etc.) in one spreadsheet so you know what you actually have.

• Do the same for your liabilities (credit card debt, loans). The difference is your net worth, which you should track every month.

• Track all your major sources of income and expense, then identify what your monthly savings rate is.

•  Identify ways to boost your income and cut your expenses - get rid of unused subscriptions and avoid unnecessary purchases.

•  As your savings rate increases, learn how to invest your long-term savings in cheap and diversified products such as exchange-traded funds.

_________

Listen:

Business Extra Podcast: Cost of living in the UAE compared to the rest of the world

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England squad

Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes, Lewis Gregory, Keaton Jennings, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Amar Virdi, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

About Seez

Company name/date started: Seez, set up in September 2015 and the app was released in August 2017  

Founder/CEO name(s): Tarek Kabrit, co-founder and chief executive, and Andrew Kabrit, co-founder and chief operating officer

Based in: Dubai, with operations also in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon 

Sector:  Search engine for car buying, selling and leasing

Size: (employees/revenue): 11; undisclosed

Stage of funding: $1.8 million in seed funding; followed by another $1.5m bridge round - in the process of closing Series A 

Investors: Wamda Capital, B&Y and Phoenician Funds 

US households add $601bn of debt in 2019

American households borrowed another $601 billion (Dh2.2bn) in 2019, the largest yearly gain since 2007, just before the global financial crisis, according to February data from the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Fuelled by rising mortgage debt as homebuyers continued to take advantage of low interest rates, the increase last year brought total household debt to a record high, surpassing the previous peak reached in 2008 just before the market crash, according to the report.

Following the 22nd straight quarter of growth, American household debt swelled to $14.15 trillion by the end of 2019, the New York Fed said in its quarterly report.

In the final three months of the year, new home loans jumped to their highest volume since the fourth quarter of 2005, while credit cards and auto loans also added to the increase.

The bad debt load is taking its toll on some households, and the New York Fed warned that more and more credit card borrowers — particularly young people — were falling behind on their payments.

"Younger borrowers, who are disproportionately likely to have credit cards and student loans as their primary form of debt, struggle more than others with on-time repayment," New York Fed researchers said.

Teams

Punjabi Legends Owners: Inzamam-ul-Haq and Intizar-ul-Haq; Key player: Misbah-ul-Haq

Pakhtoons Owners: Habib Khan and Tajuddin Khan; Key player: Shahid Afridi

Maratha Arabians Owners: Sohail Khan, Ali Tumbi, Parvez Khan; Key player: Virender Sehwag

Bangla Tigers Owners: Shirajuddin Alam, Yasin Choudhary, Neelesh Bhatnager, Anis and Rizwan Sajan; Key player: TBC

Colombo Lions Owners: Sri Lanka Cricket; Key player: TBC

Kerala Kings Owners: Hussain Adam Ali and Shafi Ul Mulk; Key player: Eoin Morgan

Venue Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Format 10 overs per side, matches last for 90 minutes

Timeline October 25: Around 120 players to be entered into a draft, to be held in Dubai; December 21: Matches start; December 24: Finals

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

BELGIUM SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet, Koen Casteels

Defenders: Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Leander Dendoncker, Zeno Debast, Arthur Theate, Wout Faes

Midfielders: Hans Vanaken, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Amadou Onana, Kevin De Bruyne, Yannick Carrasco, Thorgan Hazard, Timothy Castagne, Thomas Meunier

Forwards: Romelu Lukaku, Michy Batshuayi, Loïs Openda, Charles De Ketelaere, Eden Hazard, Jeremy Doku, Dries Mertens, Leandro Trossard

List of alleged parties

May 15 2020: PM and Carrie attend 'work meeting' with at
least 17 staff members

May 20 2020: PM and Carrie attend 'bring your own booze'
party

Nov 27 2020: PM gives speech at leaving do for his staff

Dec 10 2020: Staff party held by then-education secretary
Gavin Williamson

Dec 13 2020: PM and Carrie throw a flat party

Dec 14 2020: London mayor candidate Shaun Bailey holds staff party at Conservative
Party headquarters

Dec 15 2020: PM takes part in a staff quiz

Dec 18 2020: Downing Street Christmas party

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September

Tips from the expert

Dobromir Radichkov, chief data officer at dubizzle and Bayut, offers a few tips for UAE residents looking to earn some cash from pre-loved items.

  1. Sellers should focus on providing high-quality used goods at attractive prices to buyers.
  2. It’s important to use clear and appealing photos, with catchy titles and detailed descriptions to capture the attention of prospective buyers.
  3. Try to advertise a realistic price to attract buyers looking for good deals, especially in the current environment where consumers are significantly more price-sensitive.
  4. Be creative and look around your home for valuable items that you no longer need but might be useful to others.
COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Honeymoonish

Director: Elie El Samaan

Starring: Nour Al Ghandour, Mahmoud Boushahri

Rating: 3/5

SPEC SHEET: APPLE TV 4K (THIRD GENERATION)

CPU: Apple A15 Bionic

Capacity: 64GB, Wi-Fi only; 128GB, Wi-Fi + ethernet

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, ethernet (Wi-Fi + ethernet model only), IR receiver

I/O: HDMI, ethernet (128GB model only); Siri remote (charging via USB-C); accessibility features

Video: SDR/Dolby Vision/HDR10+ up to 2160p @ 60fps

Peripherals: Compatible with HD/UHD TVs via HDMI, Bluetooth keyboards, AirPods

Photo: GIF, HEIF, JPEG, TIFF

Colour: Black

In the box: TV 4K, Siri remote, power cord

Price: Dh529, Wi-Fi only; Dh599, Wi-Fi + ethernet

THE BIO

Occupation: Specialised chief medical laboratory technologist

Age: 78

Favourite destination: Always Al Ain “Dar Al Zain”

Hobbies: his work  - “ the thing which I am most passionate for and which occupied all my time in the morning and evening from 1963 to 2019”

Other hobbies: football

Favorite football club: Al Ain Sports Club

 

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 680hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 800Nm at 2,750-6,000rpm
Transmission: Rear-mounted eight-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 13.6L/100km
On sale: Orderbook open; deliveries start end of year
Price: From Dh970,000

 


 

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Sweet Tooth

Creator: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen
Rating: 2.5/5

65

Directors: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods

Stars: Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman

Rating: 2/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

EA Sports FC 24

Developer: EA Vancouver, EA Romania
Publisher: EA Sports
Consoles: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4&5, PC and Xbox One
Rating: 3.5/5

Forced Deportations

While the Lebanese government has deported a number of refugees back to Syria since 2011, the latest round is the first en-mass campaign of its kind, say the Access Center for Human Rights, a non-governmental organization which monitors the conditions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

“In the past, the Lebanese General Security was responsible for the forced deportation operations of refugees, after forcing them to sign papers stating that they wished to return to Syria of their own free will. Now, the Lebanese army, specifically military intelligence, is responsible for the security operation,” said Mohammad Hasan, head of ACHR.
In just the first four months of 2023 the number of forced deportations is nearly double that of the entirety of 2022.

Since the beginning of 2023, ACHR has reported 407 forced deportations – 200 of which occurred in April alone.

In comparison, just 154 people were forcfully deported in 2022.

Violence

Instances of violence against Syrian refugees are not uncommon.

Just last month, security camera footage of men violently attacking and stabbing an employee at a mini-market went viral. The store’s employees had engaged in a verbal altercation with the men who had come to enforce an order to shutter shops, following the announcement of a municipal curfew for Syrian refugees.
“They thought they were Syrian,” said the mayor of the Nahr el Bared municipality, Charbel Bou Raad, of the attackers.
It later emerged the beaten employees were Lebanese. But the video was an exemplary instance of violence at a time when anti-Syrian rhetoric is particularly heated as Lebanese politicians call for the return of Syrian refugees to Syria.

Tips for SMEs to cope
  • Adapt your business model. Make changes that are future-proof to the new normal
  • Make sure you have an online presence
  • Open communication with suppliers, especially if they are international. Look for local suppliers to avoid delivery delays
  • Open communication with customers to see how they are coping and be flexible about extending terms, etc
    Courtesy: Craig Moore, founder and CEO of Beehive, which provides term finance and working capital finance to SMEs. Only SMEs that have been trading for two years are eligible for funding from Beehive.
COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

12 restaurants opening at the hotel this month

Ariana’s Persian Kitchen
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Estiatorio Milos
House of Desserts
Jaleo by Jose Andres
La Mar
Ling Ling
Little Venice Cake Company
Malibu 90265
Nobu by the Beach
Resonance by Heston Blumenthal
The Royal Tearoom 

Key fixtures from January 5-7

Watford v Bristol City

Liverpool v Everton

Brighton v Crystal Palace

Bournemouth v AFC Fylde or Wigan

Coventry v Stoke City

Nottingham Forest v Arsenal

Manchester United v Derby

Forest Green or Exeter v West Brom

Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon

Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester City

Manchester City v Burnley

Shrewsbury v West Ham United

Wolves v Swansea City

Newcastle United v Luton Town

Fulham v Southampton

Norwich City v Chelsea

ENGLAND SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood


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