Survey finds UAE expats save less than those in Asia

Published:  26 Sep at 6 PM
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A recent survey indicates that expats working in the United Arab Emirates spend more on luxury lifestyles than their counterparts in Hong Kong and Singapore.

The survey, commissioned by Standard Life, compared the average spend of expats working in Singapore, Hong Kong and the emirates, and found that Western expats in the UAE were more profligate and less interested in saving or investing than those in Asian hubs. Over 97 per cent of UAE expat workers admitted to splurging their spare cash on a luxury lifestyle.

In comparison, those living and working in the two Asian destinations spent far less on living it up, with only half the Singapore-based respondents favouring luxury lifestyle choices and 53 per cent in Hong Kong. In addition, 90 per cent of Singapore-based expats said they would return to their home countries after their contracts ended, against just 35 per cent of those working in the UAE.

Attitudes towards investment differed considerably across the three destinations with over half of respondents in the Asian hubs investing in gold as against just 15 per cent in the emirates. Singapore was considered a good place for property investment, with the UAE unsurprisingly the worst.

The survey also showed that most expats leave their home countries to better their salaries, taking positions in tax-friendly, high-earning locations where they can work and save for their financial futures. With the exception of those in the UAE, most respondents seemed able to balance their spending habits with the necessity of saving and investing.
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