More than one-third of expats wish to retire in UAE, survey reveals

Residents tend to save more after the pandemic to own a business, buy a home, or secure kids’ education

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Waheed Abbas

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Published: Tue 18 Jul 2023, 12:51 PM

Last updated: Tue 18 Jul 2023, 5:44 PM

More than a third – 37 per cent – of UAE expatriates are hoping to retire in the country, hence finding ways to maximise their earnings to secure their future here, according to a new survey released by the National Bonds on Tuesday.

Mohammed Qasim Al Ali, CEO of National Bonds, pointed out that more people are retiring in the country owing to Golden Visa, and Retirement Visa.


The survey, which covered more than 2,000 expats and locals, found that only eight per cent plan to return to their home country and a similar percentage aims to migrate to their dream destination country. While the remaining have not yet decided on their retirement.

The funds managed by National Bonds have increased substantially after the pandemic. It has risen from Dh8 billion to Dh13 billion at the end of last year. Currently, they stand at Dh14 billion.


“In the pre-Covid period, our growth was five per cent and now it is 25 per cent,” he added.

88% say important to have emergency fund

According to the National Bonds Savings Index, a whopping 84 per cent of UAE residents believe it is important to have an emergency fund and the majority of them intend to save to own a business, buy a home and secure either one’s own or children’s education, according to a survey released by National Bonds on Tuesday.

Al Ali revealed that UAE residents are more inclined towards savings in the post-pandemic period prompted by the unforeseen circumstances that arise, hence pushing residents to save more.

The survey found that 64 per cent of people are on their way towards establishing a reliable fund.

Around 76 per cent of respondents consider it a saving destination particularly younger individuals, it said.

Al Ali said respondents choose to save or invest more than 20 per cent of their income or even pay themselves first; before they start paying bills.

“You should deduct 10 or 20 per cent for your retirement,” advised the National Bonds chief executive.

He said there was a huge increase of 176 per cent in disciplined monthly saving plans that customers opted for in the first half of 2023 as compared to the same period last year. “People learned a lot from Covid about having an emergency fund due to job loss.”

Firms investing end-of-service

Al Ali said they encourage employers to start investing end of services for the benefit of their employees.

“If it is invested in 20-30 years, by the time you retire, you don’t just have end of service but also good returns, which can be 30-40 per cent more than their end of services funds,” he elaborated.

So far, more than 100 firms have invested end-of-services funds with the National Bonds. “We have attracted SMEs and large companies of 20-30 people.

One company has invested over Dh60 million,” he added.

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