More than half of heads of household in Abu Dhabi are in debt, mostly because of bad car loans, a poll conducted by the Department of Economic Development has revealed.
The poll, which looked at the status of Emirati families during the first quarter of this year, showed that 58.4 per cent of family heads were in debt with the average monthly spending of an Abu Dhabi family being Dh26,300.
A breakdown of the debts showed that 60 per cent of debts covered car loan instalments, while 25 per cent were housing loans, 12 per cent wedding expenses and only 3 per cent travel expenses.
The poll also showed that 82.6 per cent of those surveyed owned their own property.
The department's National Family Status Observatory found that nearly 27 per cent of Emirati families paid on average Dh38,821 on education annually.
The numbers were released as part of the first quarter report on economic indicators, which also included consumer confidence, the confidence in the local business climate and the business cycle index.
Rashed Ali Al Zaabi, the executive director of the planning and statistics sector at the department, said the aim of the survey was to "aid economic policy with tools to ensure greater economic growth and avoid negative consequences".