UAE rolls out new financial literacy programme that teaches smart money skills

The Ghaya course aims to equip UAE nationals with the knowledge and skills to manage their finances and contribute to Abu Dhabi's economic growth

A new financial literacy programme has been launched to teach Emiratis smart money skills. Pawan Singh / The National
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The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an on Sunday rolled out a new financial literacy programme that aims to educate Emiratis about smart money management and contribute to Abu Dhabi’s long-term economic growth.

Ghaya (meaning goal in Arabic) is a three-month course that aims to educate and empower UAE nationals in Abu Dhabi on how to manage their finances and become financially independent.

“The launch of Ghaya signifies so much more than the introduction of a financial literacy programme, it will play an instrumental role to understand the importance of finances as well as equip UAE nationals with the knowledge and skills to be more efficient with managing their finances,” Salama Al Ameemi, director general of Ma’an, said.

“While it will create communities of financially independent individuals who can pass on their knowledge to others, it will also strengthen the economic growth of Abu Dhabi, which is one of the leading global cities for trade and business.”

Ma’an has partnered with ADGM Academy and the London Institute of Banking & Finance to run the programme’s content, which will cover a range of financial literacy topics such as how to save and live within your means and how to identify suitable investment options.

The Ghaya financial literacy programme will also train participants on how they can teach their families and communities in an effort to create positive attitudes towards financial literacy.

“The programme is an example of Ma’an’s role in facilitating and enabling the development of meaningful volunteering opportunities, creating independent individuals who can drive positive change within local communities in Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the public, private and third sector,” Ms Al Ameemi said.

According to a 2019 financial literacy survey by Visa, 43 per cent of respondents in the UAE aged between 16 and 24 said they are not ready to manage their own money, while 53 per cent said schools didn't prepare them enough to take care of their finances.

Ghaya will play an instrumental role to understand the importance of finances as well as equip UAE nationals with the knowledge and skills to be more efficient with managing their finances

The UAE has rolled out a number of financial literacy programmes over the past two years to tackle the rise of personal debt in the country. Last year, the Central Bank of the UAE signed an agreement with Emirates Foundation to launch a financial literacy programme through the Esref Sah scheme.

The UAE Banks Federation also launched a financial literacy handbook in May 2018 in an effort to help consumers manage their money more effectively.

The first Ghaya programme will begin on December 13 with 50 participants, 35 of whom will be recruited from the Social Support Authority's current beneficiaries. The programme is also open for the public to apply.

“Through its robust curriculum and best in-class framework, we are confident that Ghaya will aid in shaping a generation of financially savvy and self-sufficient Emiratis,” Hamad Al Mazrouei, chief operating officer of ADGM and managing director of the ADGM Academy, said.