The UAE population is mostly made up by expats. And rich ones, at that.
UN data shows that 88.4 percent of the total population is made up by international migrants, with the latest Globaldata wealth managers survey finding 74.6 percent of expats are high net worth individuals.
Indian nationals stand out as the largest expat group.
Here’s the percentage breakdown of where UAE migrants come from:
Indians tend to send a large amount of assets back home, and in particular, physical gold. However new Indian legislation restrains the import of precious metals, pushing up demand for investment in gold through digital platforms.
Most of the UAE financial regulation is based on the Sharia law, including strict requirements related to inheritance procedures. Consequently clients who want to pass over their wealth to their loved ones will need specialist advice, and wealth managers offering inheritance planning services (directly or via a partnership with legal firms) are set to be successful.
In the end, with the expat population accounting for the vast majority of the HNW clients in the UAE, tailoring the service offering to their specific needs will be the main competitive advantage for wealth managers.