57% of Asian expats fear UAE job axe - survey

EXCLUSIVE: Expats from sub-continent nearly 3 times as worried as nationals.
By Soren Billing
Wed 03 Jun 2009 07:19 AM

Asian expats in the UAE are almost three times more likely to be worried about their job security than UAE nationals are, according to a new survey.

Only 22 percent of UAE nationals said they were concerned about the future of their jobs compared with 57 percent of Asian expats and 31 percent of Arab expats, in a consumer lifestyle survey by market research company TNS.

Similarly, only 25 percent of Emiratis said they were worried about their financial security, compared with 54 percent of Asians and 30 percent of expat Arabs.

The rising cost of living was the single biggest factor impacting the lifestyle of consumers in all three groups, according to the 1,002 people polled by TNS.

Inflation was cited by 61 percent of Emiratis, 73 percent of Arab expats and 75 percent of Asian expats as a factor threatening their lifestyle.

“Consumers are looking to cut back on big ticket items and postponing holidays,” said Satish Dave, senior director of TNS Middle East and Africa.

“Even consumers who had a sense of job security seemed to have been impacted by this negative sentiment.”

Others are trying to reduce their entertainment accounts by going out less frequently and opting for cheaper restaurants.

Many are also trying to shop smarter, and more than 50 percent said they preferred offers that give them cash back over other types of promotions, he said.

Education and the environment were two areas where the three groups differed in their views.

Out of Emiratis respondents, 35 percent said they were concerned about the quality of their children’s education compared with only 25 percent of Arab expats and 29 percent of Asian expats.

And while global warming and the environment didn’t rank highly in any group, it was mentioned by more Emiratis and Asian expats – 25 percent and 29 percent, respectively – than Arab expats, out of whom only 13 percent thought the environment would have an impact on their lifestyle.

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