UAE millionaires are the youngest in the world

The wealthy in the Emirates also rate self-improvement and adventure higher than global peers, new HSBC study finds

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UAE millionaires are the youngest among their global counterparts, shaping the way they view personal enrichment and how they invest their money, according to a new HSBC survey in seven countries.

In the global study of 1,000 high-net-worth people with between $1 million (Dh3.65m) and $5m of investable assets, UAE respondents had an average age of 35. This is younger than mainland China at 37 and significantly younger than the UK at 51 and the US at 61. The other locations surveyed were Canada, France, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Three quarters of the 100 UAE millionaires surveyed said self-improvement is extremely important to living an enriched life, the highest globally. About half (52 per cent) chose new adventures with family – also the most globally – compared to 37 per cent in China and 35 per cent in France.

“More and more of UAE’s high-net-worth people are shifting towards a broader view of enrichment where self-improvement, new experiences and mental well-being rate just as high, or higher, than wealth accumulation,” said Abdulfattah Sharaf, the group general manager and chief executive of HSBC in the UAE. “These new perspectives are also changing the way the affluent manage their finances and invest.”

There are approximately 88,700 people living in the UAE with individual assets of $1m or more, according to a 2019 report from New World Wealth based in Johannesburg. High-net-worth people hold about half of the $925bn in personal wealth in the Emirates, the report found.

HSBC’s study found that of the UAE respondents – who had average investible assets of $1.8m – 40 per cent ran their own businesses, 30 per cent held senior executive positions and 20 per cent worked in professional services.

More than half (56 per cent) said establishing a legacy is an important source of enrichment. Eighty-one per cent said passing on values is the most important factor in their personal legacy, the second highest globally after France (86 per cent). Passing on assets was important for 56 per cent of UAE respondents and passing on skills for 54 per cent.

To capitalise on the study's findings on self-improvement and adventure, HSBC introduced Jade, a bank account that includes access to a range of "bespoke luxury experiences", in addition to wealth management. Its "Enrich List" includes a voyage to Titanic's wreck site off the coast of Canada, crying therapy in Japan and star gazing in Oman's Wahiba Desert.