LOGIN or JOIN
information for global expats



Wealth Management for Expats in the United Arab Emirates

Submitted: December 2013

Generally speaking, you should look for a wealth manager if you think you need help with financial planning. A financial institution is prone to offer you more sophisticated services as you get wealthier. These services range from traditional lending or investment management to inheritance tax planning or asset protection.

Feel free to consider a fee-based pricing structure, rather than a commission-based one. If you are really wealthy, the former may well land you with much better returns.

The UAE is increasingly becoming a regional offshore financial centre, as the Government is looking forward to diversifying the economy away from oil revenues. Consequently, there is a growing wealth management industry in the UAE, and it is largely possible to find wealth management professionals that speak your native language.

It’s best not to overestimate the UAE financial sector though. In fact, the UAE still does not have the same sophisticated financial markets as Western countries. As a result, it’s still relevant to rely on non-UAE private banking services.

Issues for expatriates

Financial planning complexity increases dramatically when you become an expatriate, as additional cross-border issues must be taken into account. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Having Emirati Dirhams available
  • Availability of assets in your home country
  • Social security arrangements
  • Effects of international mobility on your pension rights
  • Your residency status for income tax purposes
  • Asset protection
  • Foreign exchange exposure
  • Inheritance law considerations, and
  • Inheritance tax planning.

It is essential to check if your wealth manager is qualified enough to deal with your specific cross-border issues. In particular, it is very important to assess your UAE-specific needs, as foreign small private banks may not have the adequate skills to address them.

In addition, departing from your home country may be subject to some paperwork there (e.g. tax compliance, letting your insurer know that you leave, switching to a non-resident bank account, etc.). A wealth manager in your home country is more likely to be qualified to help you with this.

In all cases, be wary of:

  • Language issues
  • Product transparency, especially with regard to the underlying risk
  • Cultural differences (e.g. if you’re not looking for Sharia-compliant products), and
  • How contactable your wealth manager is.

 

Contribute

We value input from our readers. If you spot an error on this page or have any suggestions, please let us know.

 

Moving to the United Arab Emirates

If you are considering moving to the United Arab Emirates or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated the United Arab Emirates section including; details of immigration and visas, Emirati forums, Emirati event listings and service providers in the United Arab Emirates.

picture1 Read More

Living in the United Arab Emirates

From your safety to shoppingliving in the United Arab Emirates can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in the United Arab Emirates with relevant news and up-to-date information.

picture1 Read More

Working in the United Arab Emirates

Working in the United Arab Emirates can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in the United Arab Emirates, and general Emirati culture of the labour market.

picture1 Read More


 
 
 
 

Information

About | Useful Links | Global Media Partners | Media | Advertising And Sales | Banners And Widgets | Glossary | RSS | Privacy & Cookies | Terms And Conditions | Editorial Policy | Refer To A Friend | Newsletters | Contact | Site Map

Important Notice: Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited has taken reasonable care in sourcing and presenting the information contained on this site, but accepts no responsibility for any financial or other loss or damage that may result from its use. In particular, users of the site are advised to take appropriate professional advice before committing themselves to involvement in offshore jurisdictions, offshore trusts or offshore investments. © Wolters Kluwer TAA Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.

The Expat Briefing brand is owned and operated by Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited.