Pocketful of Dirhams
Is it cheaper to rent or buy a home in the UAE?

Is it cheaper to rent or buy a home in the UAE?

May 25, 2021
The UAE property market is buoyant once again after changes to mortgage rules and new visa programmes for expatriate retirees and foreign investors boosted sentiment in the sector. Dubai property transactions hit their highest level since 2010 in the first quarter of this year, according to ValuStrat. The positivity in the market is encouraging many first-time buyers to snap up a home at a time when prices are still affordable and interest rates remain low.

But with many residents in the UAE still choosing to rent, how do they decide which is the most cost-effective option over the long term? While renters can walk away without the worry of clearing a mortgage, they also lose the money they have paid to a landlord during their time in a property. In turn, for buyers looking to get on to the property ladder, raising a deposit can be a big financial challenge. 

Host Alice Haine is joined by Ben Crompton, managing partner of Crompton Partners Abu Dhabi, who guides listeners through the different options.
Are you financially cheating on your partner?

Are you financially cheating on your partner?

May 18, 2021
It’s all very well to keep your personal finances to yourself when you are single. But what happens if you continue this habit when you are married? Financial infidelity can have a devastating effect on a marriage and create huge trust issues between couples if one of them is not honest about money. From hiding purchases to having a secret bank and credit card account or taking out a loan without their spouse knowing about it are just a few examples of financial infidelity. In 2020, a survey by creditcard.com found that financial infidelity in marriages is on the rise, with 44 per cent of US respondents admitting they kept money secrets from their spouses.

However, experts say there are a few red flags to help you recognise when your partner might be keeping money secrets from you. These can include emotion-charged conversations when the topic of money is raised, finding bank or credit card statements you know nothing about, being removed from a joint bank account or if they suddenly appear to be flush with cash. But it seems that you are more likely to commit financial infidelity according to your age. Another survey conducted by creditcard.com in February this year found that millennials are more likely to commit some form of financial infidelity with their partner than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. So how do couples ensure they remain financially faithful? Communication is key, experts say.

Host Felicity Glover is joined by Dr Sanjay Tolani, the chief executive and managing director of multi-family advisory firm Goodwill World, who shares his thoughts on why it's important to be financially faithful in a marriage.
What borrowers have learnt from five years of The Debt Panel

What borrowers have learnt from five years of The Debt Panel

May 11, 2021
When a group of debt experts sat around a conference table at The National’s office in Abu Dhabi five years ago, they never imagined the discussion would help to ease the debt problems of hundreds of UAE residents. At the time, banks were inundated with borrowers unable to repay their liabilities because they could no longer take on fresh credit following the launch of the Al Etihad Credit Bureau. Set up in November 2014, the bureau brought transparency to the lending industry by assembling a credit record of the nation’s financially active residents.

However, those that had borrowed excessively in the past could not take on new loans or credit cards, leaving many with debts they had no hope of repaying. This is why The National introduced The Debt Panel in April 2016 to help those in desperate need solve their debt woes. Since then our debt experts have answered more than 260 debt panel questions, with some readers going on to resolve their financial difficulties completely. So, what has changed since the advice column was first launched?

Host Alice Haine is joined by Philip King, the global head of retail banking at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and one of the founding members of The Debt Panel, who shares his thoughts on the importance of the advice column in the UAE.
Who wants to be a millionaire?

Who wants to be a millionaire?

May 4, 2021
Becoming a millionaire is a dream for many – to have the financial freedom to never worry again about paying bills or living from pay cheque to pay cheque. But reaching that $1 million mark is easier said than done. It takes patience, discipline and a "millionaire mindset" to reach your financial goals.

It’s also about having a long-term investment strategy, living below your means and sticking to a budget that will allow you to invest your savings regularly and get it working for you as soon as possible. But what exactly is a millionaire mindset and how do you manage your money like a millionaire?

Host Felicity Glover is joined by Sam Instone, the co-chief executive of wealth management company AES, who shares his advice on how to change your mindset and reach your financial goals.