Two-thirds of expat workers in the Middle East say the current global economic worries are having an impact on their financial priorities.
The latest research from Zurich International’s Expatriate Wealth Monitor, which surveyed 700 expats in the Gulf region and includes expats in Qatar for the first time, showed 37% saw saving for the future as their top priority at present, with a further 19% most focused on clearing debt.
In the United Arab Emirates, the home of the majority of the expats surveyed, 30% said they were spending less on luxuries such as eating out, holidays and sports cars, and 70% said they are putting more into planning for their children’s education.
But as in previous surveys, expats are still not getting the message regarding financial advice (see story from 1 April). Some 57% are unsure where to seek advice, with 22% preferring to rely on their own knowledge, and 70% saying word of mouth is the most important factor in influencing their financial planning decisions.
Commenting on the research findings, Zurich International’s regional director, Middle East, Paul Haran said: “While it is not entirely surprising 22% of expats prefer to rely on their own knowledge, it is concerning that 15% don’t trust anyone outside of their friends and family to give advice. Clearly more has to be done in building trust and creating a sound environment for expats to source quality financial advice.”
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