Personal debt boils down to self-control

Readers discuss personal debt. Other topics include rent fees, Lang Lang and autism

Readers applaud a well-behaved audience for pianist Lang Lang. Delores Johnson / The National
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Regarding your report on personal finance (Personal debt again proving a burdensome load in UAE, April 15), the major problem expatriates have here is the difference in how lenders behave. In many countries, lenders are prudent when issuing credit cards and personal loans. In most cases, an applicant will need a personal guarantor to cover debts.

This doesn’t happen here. As soon as you open a bank account, lenders begin calling with offers of credit cards and personal loans that can sometimes exceed four times your salary.

This presents a challenge to new residents who don’t have self-control when it comes to credit and debt. The temptation is hard to resist but people must remember that they should be saving money instead of spending it while they are living in the Gulf.

Bernard Vallely, UK

The person quoted in this story was able to take out a loan 20 times his salary. It is doubtful that a company would be aware of such a loan and therefore I don’t think that his human resources department will be able to help mediate with the lender.

When it comes to finance, the best advice is to live within your means and seek professional advice before making big financial decisions.

Jase White, Dubai

Money, like most things in life, is a matter of self-discipline.

Marcos Camza-Peyes, Dubai

A well-behaved performance

I am writing with regard to your review of Lang Lang in concert (Lang Lang brings classical music to life in expressive performance, April 15). At Friday night's sell-out concert at Emirates Palace by the awesome Lang Lang, you could have heard a pin drop throughout the entire performance. The audience was very well behaved.

In addition, the event was well organised. A big thank you to ADMAF for bringing us another world class performer.

Helen Brawn, Abu Dhabi

New rent fees hit close to home

I am writing about the rent fees (New 3% municipality fee on Abu Dhabi expat rentals could give government Dh612m boost, April 14). The country needs to make money in some way.

Moreover, it was never a tax-free country, only an income tax-free country.

If you look closely there are many taxes and in some respects, we have more taxes than in other parts of the world.

John Paravalos, Dubai

This new fee might force people to leave the country. Many people live here because of what they gain without the income tax burden.

Now it seems that people are losing more here than they gain. That’s why there is such a high level of expats leaving, which appears to be happening over the last two years.

Sammy Evans, Abu Dhabi

It seems as though you can’t live off of oil revenue for ever, especially when prices are low for a long time. It makes sense that other revenue streams are explored.

Jack Meman, UK

Efficiency in the economy

I found your report on retirement thoughtful and interesting (Recruitment more selective in UAE due to low oil price, experts say, April 14).

Undoubtedly there is no substitute for experience and with companies trying to minimise cost while optimising output they are paying more attention to employees who work smarter and not harder.

From my experience, I was able to secure senior management positions by writing a business plan to grow the company’s revenues.

I was, however, able to add real value by explaining in detail how I planned to execute the plan, which is always the toughest part. We need to see more of this across the economy.

Randall Mohammed, Dubai

How to properly identify autism

I am writing about your piece on autism and how it is identified (UAE children are being misdiagnosed with autism, April 15). I always thought it took a panel of people to diagnose autism because it can be very difficult for one person to be objective and to spot all the signs.

Katie Blackmore, UK

Sadly, misdiagnosis is common around the world. Parents must be the first to check for early signs because each child is different and unique. Without the active participation of parents, proper diagnoisis of autism is impossible.

Mitchelle Fernandes, Dubai