Wealth of the UAE has tripled in the past decade



ABU DHABI // The average adult in the Emirates is almost three times as wealthy as a decade ago.

According to a report from the Zurich-based investment bank Credit Suisse, the UAE's per-capital wealth has vaulted past that of several European countries - but as the country's wealth has risen, its debt has risen at an even quicker pace.

The report said the UAE's wealth per adult, which includes property and financial investments, rose from US$56,777 in 2000 to $150,121 (Dh150,121) in 2010.

Despite the increased buying power, residents have also quadrupled their indebtedness during the same period, which economists say speaks of growing consumerism. UAE residents' levels of debt have risen to $28,483 from $7,110. Credit Suisse factored in the effects of inflation, and all dollar values represent buying power in 2010.

The report said the world's wealthiest country was Switzerland, with an average wealth of $372,692, followed by Norway, Australia, Singapore, France and Sweden with the US seventh.

The UAE's nearest Gulf rival in personal wealth is Qatar, where adults now have an average wealth of $109,369.

Osama Abbasi, the chief executive officer for the Asia-Pacific region at Credit Suisse, said: "The report confirms that Asia-Pacific countries, which now make up the bulk of the world's middle class of emerging consumers, are driving the growth of the world's wealth.

"China is the third-largest wealth market in the world. Economic expansion in other key markets in Asia-Pacific means that, today, growth in average household wealth per adult is up to 10 times the global growth rate."

John Sfakianakis, the chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi, said the Gulf's boom had left many residents vastly richer.

"Definitely wealth creation over the past 10 years has much to do with the real estate and construction boom that took place. What makes the case of Qatar and the UAE unique is the fact that these economies were really booming at a very high pace in certain sectors like construction, which was growing in double digits," he said.

Demand for credit cards and loans had grown, Mr Sfakianakis said, as UAE residents sought to enjoy the fruits of their labours.

"The amount of indebtedness is directly related to the consumerism that grew as a result of the economic boom that we witnessed," Mr Sfakianakis said. "Banks were also a part of this because they were issuing consumer loans."

Sellers of luxury goods agreed that they had seen customers' buying power increase during the decade.

Hemant Karamchandani, the manager of Passion Jewellers in Dubai, set up shop in 2002 and has seen local demand increase, despite of a slight dip during the recession. He said the demand for diamonds "has always been increasing and increasing, and people are also now looking at them as an investment as well".

While expatriate customers make up the bulk of his sales of diamonds and platinum, his Emirati buyers are most interested in gold jewellery. "The size of the jewellery is what they're looking for. What they're looking for is big - huge," he said.

Mr Sfakianakis warned that accurate statistics on wealth in the Middle East were difficult to pin down. Credit Suisse acknowledged that financial data for the UAE were hard to come by.

The Credit Suisse report said global wealth was due to increase by 61 per cent to $315 trillion during the next five years, largely driven by the growing middle class in emerging economies in the Asia Pacific region. The report pegged current global wealth at $195 trillion.

And while the UAE's big spenders have increased debts, they pale in comparison to the Danes, who lead the world with average debts per adult of $113,978.

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

FIGHT CARD

Welterweight Mostafa Radi (PAL) v Tohir Zhuraev (TJK)

Catchweight 75kg Leandro Martins (BRA) v Anas Siraj Mounir (MAR)

Flyweight Corinne Laframboise (CAN) v Manon Fiorot (FRA)

Featherweight Ahmed Al Darmaki (UAE) v Bogdan Kirilenko (UZB)

Lightweight Izzedine Al Derabani (JOR) v Atabek Abdimitalipov (KYG)

Featherweight Yousef Al Housani (UAE) v Mohamed Arsharq Ali (SLA)

Catchweight 69kg Jung Han-gook (KOR) v Elias Boudegzdame (ALG)

Catchweight 71kg Usman Nurmagomedov (RUS) v Jerry Kvarnstrom (FIN)

Featherweight title Lee Do-gyeom (KOR) v Alexandru Chitoran (ROU)

Lightweight title Bruno Machado (BRA) v Mike Santiago (USA)

If you go

  • The nearest international airport to the start of the Chuysky Trakt is in Novosibirsk. Emirates (www.emirates.com) offer codeshare flights with S7 Airlines (www.s7.ru) via Moscow for US$5,300 (Dh19,467) return including taxes. Cheaper flights are available on Flydubai and Air Astana or Aeroflot combination, flying via Astana in Kazakhstan or Moscow. Economy class tickets are available for US$650 (Dh2,400).
  • The Double Tree by Hilton in Novosibirsk (+7 383 2230100,) has double rooms from US$60 (Dh220). You can rent cabins at camp grounds or rooms in guesthouses in the towns for around US$25 (Dh90).
  • The transport Minibuses run along the Chuysky Trakt but if you want to stop for sightseeing, hire a taxi from Gorno-Altaisk for about US$100 (Dh360) a day. Take a Russian phrasebook or download a translation app. Tour companies such as Altair-Tour (+7 383 2125115 ) offer hiking and adventure packages.
Ahmed Raza

UAE cricket captain

Age: 31

Born: Sharjah

Role: Left-arm spinner

One-day internationals: 31 matches, 35 wickets, average 31.4, economy rate 3.95

T20 internationals: 41 matches, 29 wickets, average 30.3, economy rate 6.28

The Secret Kingdom

Director: Matt Drummond

Stars: Alyla Browne, Alice Parkinson, Sam Everingham

Rating: 3/5

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Dubai World Cup Carnival Card:

6.30pm: Handicap US$135,000 (Turf) 1,200m
7.05pm: Handicap $135,000 (Dirt) 1,200m​​​​​​​
7.40pm: Zabeel Turf Listed $175,000 (T) 2,000m​​​​​​​
8.15pm: Cape Verdi Group Two $250,000 (T) 1,600m​​​​​​​
8.50pm: Handicap $135,000 (D) 1,600m​​​​​​​
9.25pm: Handicap $175,000 (T) 1,600m

Notable Yas events in 2017/18

October 13-14 KartZone (complimentary trials)

December 14-16 The Gulf 12 Hours Endurance race

March 5 Yas Marina Circuit Karting Enduro event

March 8-9 UAE Rotax Max Challenge

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

Get inspired

Here are a couple of Valentine’s Day food products that may or may not go the distance (but have got the internet talking anyway).

Sourdough sentiments: Marks & Spencer in the United Kingdom has introduced a slow-baked sourdough loaf dusted with flour to spell out I (heart) you, at £2 (Dh9.5). While it’s not available in the UAE, there’s nothing to stop you taking the idea and creating your own message of love, stencilled on breakfast-inbed toast.  

Crisps playing cupid: Crisp company Tyrells has added a spicy addition to its range for Valentine’s Day. The brand describes the new honey and chilli flavour on Twitter as: “A tenderly bracing duo of the tantalising tingle of chilli with sweet and sticky honey. A helping hand to get your heart racing.” Again, not on sale here, but if you’re tempted you could certainly fashion your own flavour mix (spicy Cheetos and caramel popcorn, anyone?). 

Results

4pm: Maiden; Dh165,000 (Dirt); 1,400m
Winner: Solar Shower; William Lee (jockey); Helal Al Alawi (trainer)

4.35pm: Handicap; Dh165,000 (D); 2,000m
Winner: Thaaqib; Antonio Fresu; Erwan Charpy.

5.10pm: Maiden; Dh165,000 (Turf); 1,800m
Winner: Bila Shak; Adrie de Vries; Fawzi Nass

5.45pm: Handicap; Dh175,000 (D); 1,200m
Winner: Beachcomber Bay; Richard Mullen; Satish Seemar

6.20pm: Handicap;​​​​​​​ Dh205,000 (T); 1,800m
Winner: Muzdawaj; Jim Crowley;​​​​​​​ Musabah Al Muhairi

6.55pm: Handicap;​​​​​​​ Dh185,000 (D); 1,600m
Winner: Mazeed; Tadhg O’Shea;​​​​​​​ Satish Seemar

7.30pm: Handicap; Dh205,000 (T); 1,200m
Winner: Riflescope; Tadhg O’Shea;​​​​​​​ Satish Seemar.

Bundesliga fixtures

Saturday, May 16 (kick-offs UAE time)

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke (4.30pm) 

RB Leipzig v Freiburg (4.30pm) 

Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin (4.30pm) 

Fortuna Dusseldorf v Paderborn  (4.30pm) 

Augsburg v Wolfsburg (4.30pm) 

Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Monchengladbach (7.30pm)

Sunday, May 17

Cologne v Mainz (4.30pm),

Union Berlin v Bayern Munich (7pm)

Monday, May 18

Werder Bremen v Bayer Leverkusen (9.30pm)

Getting there

The flights

Flydubai operates up to seven flights a week to Helsinki. Return fares to Helsinki from Dubai start from Dh1,545 in Economy and Dh7,560 in Business Class.

The stay

Golden Crown Igloos in Levi offer stays from Dh1,215 per person per night for a superior igloo; www.leviniglut.net 

Panorama Hotel in Levi is conveniently located at the top of Levi fell, a short walk from the gondola. Stays start from Dh292 per night based on two people sharing; www. golevi.fi/en/accommodation/hotel-levi-panorama

Arctic Treehouse Hotel in Rovaniemi offers stays from Dh1,379 per night based on two people sharing; www.arctictreehousehotel.com


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