Dubai's stock exchange hopes to encourage an interest in the markets among UAE youths  with a new scheme that will give kids their own investor number and a pre-paid card allowing them to keep better track of their day-to-day spending.
Dubai Financial Market (DFM) announced on Sunday the launch of its iVESTOR Shabab cards for under-21s - a move it hopes would “promote financial knowledge and responsible spending”.
Youngsters who sign up for the card get their own investor number and the card can also be used for transactions in everyday life without the risk of running up debt on a credit card.
The initiative is part of an effort on the part of Dubai’s main bourse to sustain interest in the financial markets  displayed by school and university students during visits to the DFM, the head of its financial services division Ali Al Hashimi told 7DAYS yesterday.
Thousands of kids visit the DFM each year - each given a “dummy account” to play the market in a “stock game” which pits classmates against each other, he explained. The iVESTOR Shabab card has been designed because “we do not want the relationship to be ended at this point - for them just to visit and go away”.
It grants cardholders a permanent membership of DFM, and permits them to trade independently when they reach 21. For those with parents who trade shares in their childrens’ names, any dividends can now be paid directly onto their kids’ card rather than having to wait on a cheque. The cards also function as a pre-paid means of allowing under-21s the convenience of paying for purchases by card, and a formal record of their spending that could help them better manage their finances, Al Hashimi explained.
The UAE youngsters he has encountered are “very enthusiastic” about the markets, he said, especially those planning on pursuing a career in the financial sector. 
“And they know the market - they know how to analyse technically, - it is not gambling for them, or show-jumping for them.” This year the best performer in the mock-trading simulations the bourse runs for students wasn’t a university high-flyer  - it was a high school kid, Al Hashimi revealed.
But for those mini-moguls who fancy themselves as a Wall Street high flyer, there’s a reality check - their parents can ask to receive a copy of their child’s spending statements ...
Do you think the iVESTOR shabab card is a good idea? Or is it too much adult responsibility for the UAE's youths to handle? Share your comments with us below!