Most Emiratis do not save regularly, Dubai study shows

Students from the University of Dubai are urging National Bonds to encourage Emiratis to save after a study showed most do not save regularly.

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DUBAI // The organisers of the National Bonds scheme were yesterday urged to teach more families the importance of saving after a study suggested most Emiratis do not save money regularly.

About half of those surveyed thought National Bonds was simply a prize lottery. In fact, although it holds a weekly prize draw, it is a Sharia-compliant savings scheme run by a private company.

Its customers are encouraged to save because the bonds they buy earn a small profit each year.

Marketing students from the University of Dubai distributed 1,000 questionnaires about Emiratis’ saving habits at schools, companies, universities and malls in Dubai.

Of the 232 who responded, 30 per cent saved regularly, with 32 per cent saving when possible. One in five (21 per cent) did not try to save.

Hamed Al Aqili, 23, a fourth-year student who helped to conduct the study, was surprised by how many saved at all, expecting it to be more like 25 or 30 per cent than the 58 per cent they found.

“I tend to save but from what I hear people spend what they have and enjoy it. They regret it in the end,” he said. “The younger generation is not saving.”

Haitham Al Maaini, 21, also help-ed to conduct the study but admitted saving was not part of his upbringing.

“I didn’t grow up on saving,” Mr Al Maaini said. “My parents weren’t telling me I had to save for a game or toy. I waited for Eid then I got the money to buy them.”

Mr Al Aqili said he was taught to save and went to work at the age of 13 at his family’s business, as a cashier in a Co-operative supermarket during his school holidays.

“By 18, I’d made enough money to buy my first car,” he said. “My family wanted me to be in the habit of getting up early, going to work early.”

The students called on National Bonds to educate more families on saving.