Cashless credit, regional property and jet fuel hike
Credit cards crisis
According to a new report, our journey towards the cashless society could have more of a social impact than we think. In twenty years time, it’s estimated that actual, physical cash will be totally obsolete in some countries, meaning that card and digital transactions will have taken over cold, hard coins and notes. But it’s not as simple as that either. By using a non-physical method of cash payment, we make more financial mistakes and become frivolous, like spending too much on the credit card (money we don’t have) and irresponsible afterwards, often forgetting about the purchases we’ve made. Impulse buying is also increased by credit card usage, leading to physically unhealthy (too many takeaways) as well financially unhealthy decisions. Read more here.
Ras Al Khaimah and Qatar get on the property bandwagon
Expats looking for property investment opportunities in the Middle East are finding Ras Al Khaimah and Qatar attractive bets, according to the UK’s Telegraph. Dubai has always enjoyed being top of the property pile, but outside-the-city locations in the UAE are being considered because prices are lower and the distances are still commutable. Meanwhile, Qatar’s real estate sector is launching US$10 billion worth of projects over the next 10 years. While investment is expected, buyers would do well to consider the lack of protective, consumer regulations within these immature property markets which left numerous property owners in debt following the 2008 crash. The IMF has also warned of another regional boom and bust scenario if the markets inflate at an uncontrolled rate. Read more here.
EU jet fuel levy
Brace yourselves for another hike in airline ticket prices – and just ahead of the summer exodus too. The European Union has slapped a 4.7% levy on jet fuel, which means flights into European airspace will see a rise in price again. The new tax has come about because the World Bank has now upgraded the GCC to upper-middle-income status. It is also hoped that the new levy will speed up the resuming of bilateral negotiations between the EU and the UAE, which have been on hold since 2007. And airlines will still reportedly enjoy a 20% increase on last year’s profit margins. This is despite continually rising fuel prices and the recession. For more information, read on.