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Pocketful of Dirhams

Business & Economics Podcasts

Alice Haine has all the answers to your personal finance questions. Learn about saving, investing, managing debt and much more. Join us every week on Pocketful of Dirhams, a new podcast by The National coming straight from our news room in Abu Dhabi. Make sure to subscribe and follow us on your favourite podcast app so you can stay up to date on our latest episodes.

Alice Haine has all the answers to your personal finance questions. Learn about saving, investing, managing debt and much more. Join us every week on Pocketful of Dirhams, a new podcast by The National coming straight from our news room in Abu Dhabi. Make sure to subscribe and follow us on your favourite podcast app so you can stay up to date on our latest episodes.


United Arab Emirates


Alice Haine has all the answers to your personal finance questions. Learn about saving, investing, managing debt and much more. Join us every week on Pocketful of Dirhams, a new podcast by The National coming straight from our news room in Abu Dhabi. Make sure to subscribe and follow us on your favourite podcast app so you can stay up to date on our latest episodes.




Take the no-spend challenge to boost your savings

New research by YouGov has found that more than half of UAE residents have cut non-essential spending over the past six months, while 77 per cent will continue doing so in the future. That’s no surprise considering the global economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused widespread pay cuts and job losses as businesses closed and millions of people started working from home. But, as economies begin to re-open, the temptation to return to our old spending habits will be difficult to...


Steps on how to move back to the UK

Relocating to another country is always a challenge when you factor in finding a new place to live and work, securing school places and shifting your finances along with the contents of your home. Some might think moving to their own country would be easier, but former Dubai resident Simon Cahill, a chartered financial planner and partner at London-based Octopus Wealth, says this can be just as challenging. Mr Cahill relocated to his native UK last year, a move that encouraged him to write...


How to protect yourself from financial fraud

One of the biggest personal finance concerns many people have faced over the years is dishonest advisers selling complex, high-commission financial products to unsuspecting investors that can lock them in for years. Amber Waheed is one of them. The Dubai-based business strategist and author of the recently released The Great Fraud Fightback lost $80,000 after being duped by her adviser into signing up for long-term investments she believed were low risk. It’s a familiar, heart-breaking tale...


How to save thousands on your home loan

One of our biggest financial milestones in life is buying a home. From saving up for a deposit to applying for a mortgage and having it approved is a dream come true for millions around the world. Buying property is also one of the best investments we can make – even if it doesn't appreciate in value, it still means that we are paying ourselves rather than a landlord. But one of the biggest concerns for homeowners is the interest they pay on their mortgages, whether it is variable or fixed....


Why is personal finance advice going viral on TikTok?

There’s a lot of content that goes viral on popular short-form video app TikTok these days. Think pranks, dance challenges, lifestyle tips and even the trolling of former US president Donald Trump thanks to a merry band of K-Pop fans and Tiktok teens. But there’s one surprising sector that Gen Zs and millennials are also embracing: personal finance advice. Dubbed FinTok, youth are flocking to TikTok channels that offer a range of entertaining smart money tips that help them understand the...


What millennials should do with their Covid cash piles

While the Covid-19 crisis has decimated the finances of some people, it has been kinder to others. Some have lost jobs or had their incomes slashed, while others have managed to retain the same wage level and actually build up a healthy savings pot because restrictions have prevented them from spending. So, how should the young handle their new Covid cash piles? With vaccinations set to ease restrictions in 2021, is now the time to splurge that cash or to build on that savings base? Host...


Can Artificial Intelligence make us better investors?

Investing your money is a tricky business, particularly when the financial markets are trying to factor in a global pandemic. Wild swings in equity prices can cause emotional reactions, with some investors buying or selling without thinking about the long-term implications. While an army of DIY investors in the UAE now adopt a long-term approach by investing in exchange-traded funds, others prefer a helping hand from either a regulated financial adviser or digital investment platforms, known...


Is now the time to invest in post-Brexit Britain?

The UK left the European Union on January 1, more than four years after the country voted to leave the economic bloc in a 2016 referendum. Britain’s exit from the EU comes at a very challenging time for the country’s economy. Not only are businesses adapting to a raft of new rules from the trade deal, they are also enduring a third national lockdown in England as the surge in Covid-19 cases intensifies. Britain’s economy is expected to contract by about 11 per cent in 2020 because of the...


Can Bitcoin’s value really soar to $400,000?

After soaring 300 per cent last year, Bitcoin’s value is still on the rise (https://www.thenationalnews.com/business/markets/bitcoin-crosses-30-000-mark-as-it-continues-to-rally-in-2021-1.1139320) , as investors pile funds into the leading cryptocurrency. The prices of many other digital coins have also increased sharply, as cryptocurrencies experience a mini boom. While some analysts are making wild predictions about Bitcoin’s price rising as high as $400,000 from its position of about...


How to get your savings on track for a bumper 2021

The coronavirus pandemic came as a surprise to us all, making 2020 one of the most challenging years of our lives. From a financial point of view, it has hurt some but benefited others. For those who lost their jobs or had their incomes reduced, it has made the last 10 months a struggle. For others who managed to retain their salary, movement restrictions offered a chance to build up their savings and rethink how they wanted to live their lives. No matter how your finances were affected, the...


What’s in store for investors in 2021?

For many, 2020 will be a year they would rather forget. Whether the pandemic affected their health, their families or their finances, its effects will be evident for some time to come. Investors across the globe also suffered a rollercoaster ride in 2020, with markets experiencing some wild swings over the course of the year. And while some people managed to save money during the Covid-19 outbreak, others faced job losses or lower incomes. Now, with a vaccine set to return life to some...


What’s next for the UK property market?

Like many parts of the world, the UK property market has experienced a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs as it absorbs the effects of Covid-19. While there was a total halt in transactions at the height of the pandemic when the country first went into lockdown, the second half of the year saw mortgage applications and transactions surge on the back of UK finance minister Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty holiday. Add in pent-up demand and a desire for more space, along with an expected increase to...


How to apply for a 10-year golden visa in the UAE

Over the past few weeks, the UAE has seen a number of legal and immigration changes that will have a big effect on life in the Emirates. Among them is a very significant expansion to the UAE’s golden visa scheme, which offers a 10-year residency visa to expatriate workers in certain professions. So how does the visa work? How do you find out if you are eligible to apply and why is this important for the country? Host Alice Haine is joined by Haider Hussain, partner in the UAE office of...


How will the new UAE inheritance law affect you?

The UAE government has embarked on one of the biggest overhauls of the legal system in years. Among the changes are amendments to family and personal law with new regulations covering divorce, couples living together and other areas affecting people’s daily lives. From a personal finance perspective, however, one of the most interesting changes centres on wills and inheritance. So how significant is this change? When will it take effect? And what does it mean for people looking to write a...


Are we saving enough to fund a 100-year life?

With life expectancy rates rising rapidly across the globe thanks to advances in healthcare and better living standards, many of us will get the chance to celebrate our 100th birthday. But the financial implications of hitting such a milestone mean that the concept of traditional retirement is fast disappearing. After all, can we really afford to fund our golden years for up to 40 years when you factor in the average retirement age of 65? So how do we fund our longer lives? Are retirement...


How the US election affects your investment portfolio

As the world waits for the outcome of the US presidential election, investors have every right to feel nervous. Last week saw global markets spiral downwards on the back of uncertainty about the election result and heightened restrictions across Europe due to a rise in the number of coronavirus cases. Some analysts say that political risk is now a major issue for investors because markets respond far more aggressively to political outcomes than they did before. So, how much difference does a...


The steps Gen Z must take now to achieve financial freedom

For Generation Z - those born between 1996 and 2015 - brushing up on personal finance know-how is something many carry out through financial apps or by watching videos on YouTube. With boosting financial literacy levels a key aim for governments across the globe, and the world still gripped by the devastating financial effects of Covid-19, there has never been a better time to equip the young with skills to manage their money more effectively. Host Alice Haine is joined by Monica Mahoj from...


Why women’s careers have been hurt the most by Covid-19

The coronavirus outbreak has infected more than 40 million people worldwide and damaged economies, industries and employment levels. But women are being disproportionately hurt by the economic fallout of the crisis. With sectors that typically employ women, such as retail and hospitality, badly affected by Covid-19, women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to the crisis than men’s, according to the global consultancy McKinsey & Company. McKinsey’s research during the pandemic has also...


Is property a sound investment for the future?

There are numerous asset classes you can invest your money into – from stocks and bonds to exchange traded funds, mutual funds, gold, art, cryptocurrencies and more.But one of the favourites, particularly in the UAE, is property – mainly because it is a tangible asset. Investing in real estate is sometimes considered a more solid and secure investment, partly because you can actually touch your asset. But how does a property purchase compare to investments into stocks and bonds over the long...


How to achieve financial independence by investing on your own

For people new to the world of investing, buying stocks can be a scary concept, particularly during periods of extreme volatility. But according to SimplyFI.org, a non-profit community of personal finance and investing enthusiasts in the UAE, investing does not need to be complex at all. It says the process can actually be quite simple and you can master the basics in a couple of hours. To help residents achieve this, the group has launched its first guide to investing. Called Index...