Based on statistics by Strategic Analysis, the total personal debt in the UAE is over AED 420 billion. With increasing debt and a volatile oil market, are UAE residents planning to become more conscious savers? Are we shifting focus from spending to securing savings for the future?
More people are realizing the importance of setting aside money and this change in mind-set can been seen in the significant growth in visits to the savings account section on Souqalmal.com. Visits more than doubled during the last year with a 200% increase on savings account section from January to May 2016 compared to the same period last year, indicating that residents are looking for banking products that can help them save.
Whether it’s due to the fear of unforeseen circumstances or aimed at earning returns on your money, saving accounts and fixed deposits are a good way to ensure that your money stays safe, is accessible and can grow with time.
On Souqalmal.com, 24 percent of listed accounts are saving accounts which offer an interest/profit pay-out. The average annual return that can be earned on these accounts is 0.60%. Besides saving accounts, over half of the accounts listed on Souqalmal.com are fixed deposit accounts which come with a choice of tenures. The average annual return that can be earned on deposit accounts is 1%.
Fixed deposits offer short-term and long-term options with flexible tenures. These can start from a week or a month and go up to one year to five years. If you aren’t willing to lock in your money for a long period, savings account could be a better option for you.
While the market conditions may have triggered a sense of caution among UAE residents, they are still viewing it as a long term base. Based on analysis by Souqalmal.com, visits to the mortgage section have increased by 24 percent between January to May in 2016 compared to the same period last year, suggesting that people are looking for more permanent, long-term home solutions in the UAE.
There are about 70 home loans listed on Souqalmal.com which are a mix of both conventional mortgages and Shariah-compliant home finance products. If you’re earning a monthly salary of AED 20,000, you will meet the minimum salary requirement for 84 percent of home loans available in the market. Residents earning between AED 10,000 to AED 20,000 have access to 57 percent of UAE mortgages and those with a salary of AED 10,000 or less can access 27 percent of UAE mortgages.
Besides minimum salary requirement, you are also required to satisfy a number of other conditions to be eligible for the finance such as whether you work for a company on the banks approved list, minimum length of service and salary transfer.