Investment in property, children’s education, retirement savings, and life insurance top the list
Dubai, UAE: An overwhelming majority of UAE residents (82%) plan on utilizing their annual bonus to invest in their future, followed by paying off debts, while some opted for luxury and holiday spending, a new survey by YouGov, commissioned by Zurich International Life (Zurich), part of Zurich Insurance Group, has revealed.
Conducted in January 2023, the survey covered 1,200 residents in the UAE, including parents and married residents across various income groups, nationalities, occupations, age groups, and gender.
2022 may be the best year since the pandemic with almost half of the residents surveyed having received a bonus and over 5% of residents saying their bonus was valued at over Dhs50,000. The study revealed that 31% of residents received a bonus of up to Dhs20,000 and 12% of up to Dhs50,000.
According to the survey, the top priorities among most UAE residents when utilizing their bonus include investing in property (24%), saving for retirement (17.6%), paying off debts (15%), and saving for their children’s education (14%). Other investment choices such as funds investment (13%) and life insurance (11%) were also seriously considered as viable options by residents.
This clearly indicates that more residents are increasingly making sustainable and secure investment choices rather than spending on luxury items and travel.
“It is encouraging to see that most UAE residents are now feeling an increased sense of responsibility for their own financial well-being. Our survey shows that the majority of residents are adopting a long-term perspective when planning how to utilize their annual bonuses. To secure their financial future, they will need expert financial advice to allocate their funds wisely, e.g., saving for their retirement, future property investment, children’s education or life insurance,” said Taru Singhal, Head of IFA Distribution, Zurich in the Middle East.
Protecting and investing in the future:
With securing their children’s education prominently featuring in the investment list for UAE residents, it was interesting to see that 42% of those aged between 18 to 24 were largely enthusiastic about securing a decent retirement life, while 22% of those aged 45 years and above said investing in life insurance was a top priority.
Investing in property (24.7%), saving for retirement (17.4%), and saving for children’s education (14.8%) also topped the priority list for Asians in the UAE. In comparison, property (21%), paying off debt (19.2%), and saving for retirement (18.8%) ranked top for Emiratis and Arab expats respectively.
With such investments, residents can safely secure and sustainably achieve their financial well-being goals. This, according to Zurich, is a delayed gratification strategy that can set them on a secure path to a bright future.
“Having been a beneficiary of expert financial advice as well as having enrolled in several investment plans, including an educational plan and a pension scheme, my advice to other residents is to start planning for their future by investing the right way and with the right partner,” said Cindy Simbulan, resident of the UAE for the last 15 years.
The survey also sought the motivating factors that influenced the UAE residents’ choice to use their bonuses. It found that 75% of the respondents were influenced by their family and friends. In comparison, employer and market trends also played a significant role at 22%. Other factors included influence by peers (18%) and recommendations by a financial advisor (13%).
About Zurich Insurance Group:
Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer serving people and businesses in more than 200 countries and territories. Founded 150 years ago, Zurich is transforming insurance. In addition to providing insurance protection, Zurich is increasingly offering prevention services such as those that promote well-being and enhance climate resilience.
Reflecting its purpose to ‘create a brighter future together’, Zurich aspires to be one of the most responsible and impactful businesses in the world. It targets net-zero emissions by 2050 and has the highest-possible ESG rating from MSCI. In 2020, Zurich launched the Zurich Forest project to support reforestation and biodiversity restoration in Brazil.
The Group has about 60,000 employees and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX.
About Zurich International Life Limited:
Zurich International Life Limited is a part of Zurich Insurance Group and was established in the Isle of Man, which is licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority with established and registered branches in the UAE licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE. It is registered (Registration No. 63) under UAE Federal Law Number 6 of 2007, and its activities in the UAE are governed by such law.