The UAE Is the Most Appealing Wealth Management Location for HNWIs in the GCC: Emirates Investment Bank

Press release
Published April 25th, 2018 - 06:46 GMT
Khaled Sifri, Chief Executive Officer at Emirates Investment Bank
Khaled Sifri, Chief Executive Officer at Emirates Investment Bank

Emirates Investment Bank has a diverse range of high net worth individual (HNWI) clients from across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and around the world, which provides us with a unique perspective on investor sentiment and capital allocation trends.

As part of our commitment to understanding the region’s HNWIs, Emirates Investment Bank, for the fifth consecutive year, has commissioned an independent survey, which provides intelligence on the collective economic and investment outlook of HNWIs in the GCC.

2017 was certainly a surprising year. The global economy’s performance surpassed even the most optimistic forecasters. Equity markets reached record highs, propped up by loose monetary policy, and oil prices recovered to close to US$70/bbl. Moreover, supportive fiscal policies, low inflation and strong global trade supported broad based growth, across both developed and emerging markets. Many expect momentum to continue this year.

This has given many HNWIs in the GCC a more optimistic sense of not only the global economy, but the regional economy as well. More regional HNWIs are optimistic about the GCC economy in 2018 versus 2017. Growth drivers such as government supported economic programs, adoption of transformational technologies and the lead up to Expo2020 are examples of influences that are expected to impact growth prospects in 2018 and beyond.

In addition, HNWI expressed more caution in their investment strategies, compared to the previous years. A higher proportion of HNWIs are focused on preserving their wealth, rather than pursuing a strategy to grow it. Among the reasons cited behind their cautious approach are economic and political instability, as well as uncertainty and fear about the present environment.

The economic developments throughout various geographies as well as the GCC region have prompted changes in approaches to investment decisions. Wherein barely half in last year’s survey acknowledged that local economic conditions were changing their investment decisions, two thirds this year indicate a new approach. This may be a result of a perceived subsiding of geopolitical risk, higher oil prices (which has bolstered confidence in the region’s economic cycle that seems to have turned a corner) and structural reforms aimed at solidifying sustainable growth.

The GCC Wealth Insight Report 2018 indicates that more HNWIs are keeping their assets closer to home. GCC HNWIs seem to be increasing their exposure to regional markets. While the region’s wealthy continue to allocate sizable assets towards their own businesses and cash deposits, more are inclined to rotate assets into real estate in 2018.

New for this year, we asked participants about the GCC’s appeal as a wealth management hub. More than eight-in ten HNWIs think the GCC is attractive for both regional and global HNWIs. The UAE specifically stands atop the GCC for wealth management, with nearly half ranking it the single most appealing location.

At Emirates Investment Bank, we support our clients through every stage of their wealth journey. We spend time to truly understand their individual financial objectives and provide them with bespoke solutions for their needs and circumstances. Through these uncertain times, we ensure that our clients get the support they need to navigate the most complex of situations.

Background Information

Emirates Investment Bank

As an independent private bank, Emirates Investment Bank offers a wide-range of tailor-made banking and investment services, supporting you through every stage of your wealth journey.

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