2017 Savings Index reveals 41 percent of UAE savers plan to start savings journey in 2018

2017 Savings Index reveals 41 percent of UAE savers plan to start savings journey in 2018
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

  • 57 percent of savers plan to increase their savings in 2018
  • 2017 saw 4 percent increase in the number of respondents who save enough
  • UAE has largest proportion of regular savers in GCC
  • National Bonds reaffirms commitment to driving a culture of savings across the emirates

Dubai, UAE 5th June 2018: Leading investment company, National Bonds Corporation, today launched the 2017 Savings Index. The annual survey, conducted by market research firm Sondos, reports on the savings environment in UAE and wider GCC region.

This year’s report found that 41 percent of savers in the UAE are planning to start their savings journey in 2018. Additionally, 57 percent of savers plan to increase their savings in this year, compared to 64 percent in 2017. The UAE also saw an increase in the number of respondents which feel they are saving enough, 4% higher than in 2016. However, a total of 85% of respondents still feel that they are still not saving enough for their future.

Mohammed Qasim Al-Ali, CEO, National Bonds Corporation, commented:

“The results of the 2017 Savings Index highlight that, although people want to save, they do not always have the tools or know-how to do so. While it is not surprising to see that residents in the UAE are not saving as much as they believe they should, it is interesting to see the disconnect between the intent to save and the numbers of people saving year-on-year. So, what can be done?

Education, however contrived, remains integral to increasing savings across the nation. The UAE has the largest portion of regular savers in the GCC and I am confident that we will continue to lead the way in this area if we keep striving to raise awareness of the importance of saving. If people realize the key role which savings plays in securing a happy future, everything else would fall in its place. Just look at the statistics, nearly half of residents aim to save more in 2018 – the appetite is there, we just need to tap into it.”

Over two-thirds of those surveyed in the wider GCC region believed savings to be important while two-thirds of savers in the region aimed to increase their savings in the next six months. When pushed on why respondents felt it was a good time to save, 43 percent of UAE residents cited better investment opportunities, a 36 percent increase from 2016.

The Savings Index is a good indicator of the temperature of the nation and it seems, overall, people are positive about the economic environment in the region. The IMF has predicated global activity will gain momentum in 2018, and with the growth predicted here in the GCC, the savings environment looks set to increase in 2018. The more money people have, the more they should be saving. It is as simple as that.Al-Ali added.

Interestingly, 68 percent of those surveyed in the UAE claimed their financial stability contributes their overall happiness. The report also found measurements for overall happiness included taking out health insurance, life insurance and saving enough to put their children through university.

In October 2017, National Bonds successfully launched a nationwide initiative aimed to instil a culture of saving across the emirates. It encouraged UAE residents to identify personal challenges to saving in a bid to engage and educate the public on the common barriers to saving. The campaign resulted in an increase in interest in National Bonds products in the months preceding the campaign.

Al-Ali concluded:

“We are long-time supporters of the Government’s ambition to increase financial literacy and remain committed to growing the number of savers in the UAE to achieve a healthy and secure financial future for individuals and their families. Looking at the findings of the 2018 Index, there is huge opportunity for us at National Bonds to educate residents and national alike on how to save.” 

The 2017 Savings Index surveyed 1320 participants across the GCC including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman.