UAE expats struggling to save any money

The United Arab Emirates may have the reputation as a great place to accumulate wealth, thanks to its lack of income tax, but a new survey by comparison website Compareit4me suggests this could be a myth.

According to the survey, 53% of UAE residents – most of whom are expats – don’t think they earn enough money to allocate anything to a savings account or pension scheme.

The survey also found that 30% do not even manage to save “a single dirham”, with 13% taking the view that “life is too short to save”. Respondents listed low income, loans and credit card debt as among their biggest concerns.

Compareit4me editor Sonja Stephen said that, despite this presiding attitude of pessimism, there are “a wide range of investment opportunities available to expats” in the UAE.

“For example, offshore banking is a great way to keep track of your finances, while enjoying the security and comfort of having your money in a highly regulated environment,” she said, adding that UAE banks are offering better interest rates on savings accounts and term deposits.

Compareit4me was not available to provide more details about the survey, but according to a report in the local Gulf News, 2,200 people were surveyed, most whom were expatriates.

Compareit4me did not specify the incomes or nationalities of the respondents.

The UAE currently has no income or sales tax, though the government is considering introducing the latter.

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