Citizens in Abu Dhabi spend Dh3,600 on mobiles

An average UAE citizen in Abu Dhabi spent nearly Dh3, 595 on mobile phones during the third quarter while 62 per cent continuously changed their handsets, according to a survey results released on Sunday.

An average household expenditure on fixed phones and Internet was Dh1,248 during the third quarter, according to the poll conducted by the Studies Directorate of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi.

Household expenditure on education averaged Dh31, 987 per year.

The poll statistics also showed that the number of people who borrowed increased by 3.8 per cent to 61.5 per cent during the third quarter this year, indicating that personal loans have become a burden and exert great pressure on citizen families. The results indicated that the largest percentage of loans are spent on education of children and private tutoring, in addition to car financing. Around 62.4 per cent of the respondents said they bought their cars through bank financing, which is three per cent higher than the last year’s figures.

Loans constituted on average 19.2 per cent of the monthly household expenditure in the third quarter of 2011, down by 1 per cent.

Consumption expert and founder of the website "the Arab consumer network" Hassan Al Kathiri has said that around two-third of local borrowers in the UAE take out bank loans to spend on non-essential items, and has called for the government to undertake an awareness campaign to make emiratis stop splurging on borrowed money.

However, 48 per cent of citizen families expected their monthly expenditure would increase during the fourth quarter of this year.

According to the index, citizens felt rise in food prices in particular in third quarter of 2011 compared to the second quarter of the last year.

Despite increase in food prices, citizens in Abu Dhabi said there is no change in the pattern of consumption, as most families continued to consume nearly the same amount or sometimes more of the same quantities of the commodity which witnessed an increase in price.

A large percentage of citizen families indicated that their consumption of food commodities had increased despite rise in prices in the emirate, particularly with regard to meat, fish, poultry and dairy products.

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