Wealth in the UAE: Sizing the Market Opportunity 2016

Wealth in the UAE: Sizing the Market Opportunity 2016

  • Products Id :- VF0049CI
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  • Pages: 33
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Executive Summary

The UAE is a dynamic market due to government attempts to diversify the economy, but it remains highly reliant on the oil and gas industry. The expat population constitutes a very large part of the affluent and HNW segments, which in addition to the relatively underdeveloped local stock markets explains why a large proportion of wealth is held offshore. Nevertheless, the future growth of onshore assets will remain positive.

Key Findings

Despite the small number of affluent individuals, this segment controls almost 80% of total liquid assets. At the end of 2015 HNW individuals held almost 30% of the country's onshore liquid wealth.

The ultra-high net worth segment is forecast to record the highest liquid asset growth during 2016-20.

HNW investors in the UAE hold the majority of their assets offshore. Ties to their country of origin are the main driver for offshore investments, as almost three quarters of the UAE's HNW population is made up by expats.

UAE millionaires hold over a third of their investments in non-traditional products, with real estate investment trusts (REITs) accounting for the bulk. As the UAE's stock markets are quite underdeveloped and Muslim investors account for a large part of the UAE population, REITs are a convenient investment option, as Sharia-compliant REITs are available.

Oil prices are still the major driver of growth, but the government has attempted to diversify the economy in order to protect the UAE's stock markets from the volatility of the oil and gas industry.


Verdict Financial's "Wealth in the UAE: Sizing the Market Opportunity 2016" analyzes the UAE wealth and retail savings and investments markets, with a focus on the HNW segment. The report is based on our proprietary datasets.

Specifically the report:

Sizes the affluent market (both by number of individuals and the value of their liquid assets) using our proprietary datasets.

Analyzes which asset classes are favored by the UAE's investors and how their preferences impact the growth of the total savings and investments market.

Examines HNW clients' attitudes towards non-liquid investments such as property and commodities.

Identifies key drivers and booking centers for offshore investments.

Reasons To Buy

Benchmark your share of the UAE wealth market against the current market size.

Forecast your future growth prospects using our projections for the market to 2020.

Identify your most promising client segment by analyzing penetration of affluent individuals in the UAE.

Evaluate your HNW proposition by understanding how the UAE tax system will impact HNW clients.

Review your offshore strategy by learning HNW motivations for offshore investments and their preferred booking centers.

Read More

Contact Us:
Ken Research
Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications



Most of the UAE's HNW wealth is allocated offshore

Key findings

Critical success factors



Stock market performance affects the growth of the UAE wealth market


HNW individuals allocate over a third of their investible assets outside of traditional investments

UAE investors prefer commodities to alternatives

India is the most popular booking center for Emirati HNW individuals


Abbreviations and acronyms

Supplementary data






Liquid assets

Mass affluent



Exchange of information



2016 Global Wealth Managers Survey

Verdict Financial's Global Wealth Model methodology

Global Retail Investments Analytics methodology

Exchange rates


Further reading

About Verdict Financial


Figure 1: UAE's HNW individuals account for less than 1% of the total population

Figure 2: UAE's millionaires account for less than 1% of individuals but hold almost a third of liquid assets

Figure 3: The UAE's retail savings and investments market is set to grow steadily

Figure 4: Stock market performance affects the growth of the UAE wealth market

Figure 5: GDP growth strongly affects investments

Figure 6: REITs constitute the bulk of investments outside traditional asset classes

Figure 7: Bonds are the most popular asset class

Figure 8: Ties to the offshore country and tax efficiency drive investors

Figure 9: India is the most popular booking center for Emirati HNW individuals

Figure 10: The UAE has 72 DTCs in force

Table 1: UAE taxation, 2016

Table 2: UAE: adult population segmented by affluent category and asset band (000s), 2011?15

Table 3: UAE: adult population segmented by affluent category and asset band (000s), 2016f?20f

Table 4: UAE: total onshore liquid assets segmented by affluent category and asset band ($bn), 2011?15

Table 5: UAE: total onshore liquid assets segmented by affluent category and asset band ($bn), 2016f?20f

Table 6: Emirati dirham to US dollar exchange rate, December 31, 2014 and December 31, 2015

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Cluttons, Emirates REITs, Reidin

private banking, wealth management, UAE, Middle East, investments, savings, allocation, HNW, offshore, mass affluent, mutual funds, hedge funds, REITs, FATCA, AEOI, CRS, tax system, Sharia

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