Bringing up a child in the UAE can be expensive. New insight from Zurich — Middle East has found parents in the UAE could pay up to Dh1 million to fund their child’s education from pre-school through to university.
The best way to plan for your child’s university education, especially if you are planning to send him or her to an elite institution abroad, is to start saving early. “A number of UAE banks currently offer innovative savings accounts that reward you with large amounts of interest if you’re planning to save over the course of 18 years,” says Jon Richards, CEO, yalla compare, a financial comparison site.
Gemma Frankland, Head of GWM Global Partners, agrees, as she points out, “The earlier you start to save the better and the total length of time can be anything from 5-18 years. “For an international student there really is no ceiling as to how much this can cost but we generally say around
$20,000 per year per child, not taking into account the living and accommodation costs and inflation, which is above average at around 5 per cent,” explains Frankland, adding, “Ultimately the sooner you start the less you will have to pay on a monthly basis and this gives you more time for your money to work for you due to the power of compound interest.”
For those who haven’t been able to set aside a significant sum for children’s college degrees, banks in the UAE offer a host of financial products to help parents cover the expenses. “Some banks in the UAE offer lower interest rates on personal loans if part of the loan is directed towards payment of education fees. There are also credit cards available that will give you cashback on fee payments,”
“Unfortunately, student loans aren’t much of a thing in the UAE — some banks have dabbled in the concept but that particular product line has mostly been left alone.” – Says Richards.
“This means full-time students will usually have to rely on parents for funding. That said, if you’re working with a salary above around Dh 5,000, and you’re looking to study on top of that, you should be able to find an education loan that offers better interest rates than a regular personal loan.”