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Mena professionals vow to build up their savings in 2023

The “inflationary increase in the cost of living" is thought to have prompted the focus on personal savings Unsplash/Towfiqu Barbhuiya
The “inflationary increase in the cost of living" is thought to have prompted the focus on personal savings
  • A nest egg is the No 1 priority for this year, according to a survey
  • Much of UAE population has ‘nowhere near enough’, adviser warns

Saving money is the top new year’s resolution for Mena professionals, a survey has found.

In the poll by jobs site Bayt.com, almost two-thirds (63 percent) of the 2,988 respondents said building a nest egg was their No 1 priority for 2023.

Keren Bobker, a Dubai-based independent financial adviser and senior partner at Holborn Assets, welcomed the survey results, saying a large proportion of the UAE population had “nowhere near enough in terms of savings and investments”.

She told AGBI: “It may be that the recent inflationary increase in the cost of living has brought home to some people that they will need far more money, whether as cash, investments or property, than they previously thought.

“With expected long life expectancies these days, people need more in the way of assets than they might think if they want a comfortable future in later years.

The end-of-service gratuity is no substitute for a traditional pension and even with upcoming work-related savings options in the UAE, it is essential that expats make arrangements to support themselves.”

The growing interest in personal savings comes as National Bonds, a Shariah-compliant finance company owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai, announced a partnership with payments business Lulu Exchange.

The agreement will allow users to top up their National Bonds savings accounts in Lulu Exchange’s 91 UAE branches.

“We want to push the boundaries of the UAE savings culture and make sure everyone can get started on their savings journey,” said National Bonds’ group CEO, Mohammed Qasim Al Ali, in a statement.

National Bonds aims to “push the boundaries of the UAE savings culture”, according to its CEO. Picture: Investment Corporation of Dubai

The Bayt.com survey, conducted online from November 2 to December 4, also found that the majority of Mena professionals (91 percent) feel positive about 2023, despite geopolitical tensions and global economic uncertainty.

After savings, the most popular personal resolutions were exercising and following a healthy diet (18 percent), spending more time with friends and family (14 percent) and taking more holidays (5 percent).

Career-related resolutions included finding a new job (56 percent), learning new skills at work (21 percent), getting a promotion or pay rise (20 percent) and improving relationships with colleagues and managers (3 percent).

The survey also found that 74 percent of professionals have thought about making a complete change in the industry they work in. While hunting for new jobs in 2023, respondents will look for career growth opportunities (31 percent), work-life balance (25 percent), flexible work arrangements (25 percent) and competitive salary (20 percent).

Ola Haddad, director of human resources at Bayt.com, said: “To attract and retain talent, companies must provide the incentives, work-life balance, and professional progression possibilities that employees demand.”

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