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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

57% of affluent UAE residents are better off than their parents

The socially mobile are also better educated and achieving higher levels of employment and home ownership

Employee salaries are the top source of income for 82% of UAE respondents, compared to 75% globally. Jaime Puebla / The National
Employee salaries are the top source of income for 82% of UAE respondents, compared to 75% globally. Jaime Puebla / The National

More than half of affluent consumers - those earning enough to save and invest - are experiencing upward social mobility, a new Standard Chartered study found.

According to the global bank’s Emerging Affluent Study 2018 – Climbing the Prosperity Ladder, 57 per cent of respondents in the UAE are faring better financially than their parents. The study surveyed 11,000 people globally.

“These ambitious consumers in the UAE are on an upward social trajectory: they are outstripping their parents’ success in education, careers and home ownership,” said Shehzad Hameed, head of retail banking, Standard Chartered UAE, in a statement.

Overall salaries in the UAE increased by 4.5 per cent this year, according to a November study from global consulting firm Mercer, which also expects wages to increase by 4.8 per cent next year across all industries as the job market heats up amid the government’s diversification efforts.

This was supported by Standard Chartered’s study, which found that the UAE’s socially mobile have experienced impressive earnings growth. More than four in 10 (42 per cent) enjoyed a salary increase of 10 per cent or more in the past year, and more than a quarter saw their earnings jump by 50 per cent or more in the past five years.

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The study also revealed the top source of income for 82 per cent of UAE households is their salary; globally that percentage sits at 75 per cent.

This may be partly due to higher rewards residents in the UAE receive. An October study from HSBC found that more than half of UAE expatriates moved to the country to increase their income with a fifth saying their salaries doubled when they relocated to the Emirates.

The socially mobile in the Standard Chartered study are also better educated and achieving higher levels of employment and home ownership than their parents.

Eighty-five per cent went to university, compared to 63 per cent of their fathers and 54 per cent of their mothers, while 77 per cent are in management positions or running their own businesses compared to 61 per cent of their fathers and 31 per cent of their mothers.

The majority (91 per cent) also own their own home, compared to three quarters of their parents at the same age.

When it comes to prioritising financial goals, children’s education, buying a first home and buying an investment property are the top three milestones the respondents have already achieved.