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Scaramucci and UAE government to partner on investment event

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Anthony Scaramucci told AGBI that Wall Street currently views the Middle East as "a region filled with opportunity"
  • 2023 forum aims to foster MENA investment
  • Underpinned by growing wealth inflows
  • Hedge funds also increasingly locating in UAE

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has partnered with a UAE investment forum set to take place next year.

Investopia, a global investment platform launched by the UAE government in 2021, has joined forces with his international thought leadership forum SALT to host a joint event in 2023.

“Investopia’s main objective is to create a global ecosystem for investment,” Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy and chairman of Investopia, said in a statement.

“Investopia and SALT will bring together investors and business leaders from all over the world to discuss trends shaping the future of investment and identify investment opportunities that will define the economy in years to come.”

The invitation-only conference, to be organised in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, will mark Investopia’s second annual conference and SALT’s second Middle East edition after SALT Abu Dhabi 2019.

Investopia’s first conference, held in March 2022 in Dubai, initiated dialogues across 12 economic sectors, like renewable energy, agritech, and healthcare.

“Wall Street currently views the Middle East as a region filled with opportunity,” Scaramucci, chairman of SALT and founder and managing partner of SkyBridge Capital, told AGBI. 

“The region has favourable demographics, benefits from higher oil prices, enjoys a burgeoning tech scene and, in particular, is becoming a fintech hub. 

“I notice more and more of my industry colleagues spending time and growing their teams in the region.”

The UAE is expected to attract the largest net inflow of high net worth individuals globally in 2022, according to a report released by investment advisory firm Henley & Partners.

Henley’s Global Citizens Report, which tracks private wealth and investment migration trends worldwide, said the total number of people with fortunes of at least $1 million in Dubai rose by 18 percent to 67,900.

That puts the city on track to break into the world’s top 20 wealthiest destinations by 2030.

With the total number of millionaires in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah jumping double digits forecast to reach close to 100,000 this year, UAE cities are currently among the fastest-growing wealth markets in the world, the report said.

About 4,000 more millionaires are expected to move to the Gulf state this year than those who will leave — one of the country’s largest millionaire net inflows on record.

“I am not surprised that the UAE is attracting more millionaires than the US and UK right now,” Scaramucci said.

“The UAE has a stable and benevolent government, a favourable tax and regulatory regime, great lifestyle, and is located in a geographically convenient location to conduct global business.”

Currently, New York is the wealthiest city on earth with 345,600 millionaires.

In Dubai the total number of high net worth individuals with fortunes of at least $1 million rose by 18% to 67,900

‘A crossroads of capital

In parallel, the UAE is fast becoming a magnet for overseas hedge funds seeking a low-cost, investor-friendly base amid Brexit and the Ukraine crisis.

A clutch of hedge funds from the UK and US have set up or expanded operations in Dubai or Abu Dhabi in the past two years.

One example was New York-headquartered Millennium Management and London-based Florin Court Capital.

AGBI understands a slew of others are awaiting regulatory approval to set up shop in the UAE’s financial hubs.

Scaramucci called the UAE an “important crossroads of capital and epicentre of innovation” but said the Biden administration has room to improve as it relates to Middle East policy.

“The decision to distance itself from key Middle East allies early in the administration was naïve and short-sighted, and now the President is trying to repair that damage.”

Scaramucci, who briefly served as White House communications director under President Donald Trump, added that he was not surprised the Saudis rebuffed the US request to boost oil output, “given the Biden administration’s harsh words about Saudi Arabia” on the campaign trail and early in the administration. 

“The Saudis, Emiratis and other major oil producers are in the catbird seat related to oil production due to effects of Russian sanctions,” he said. 

“It would make sense they would use that leverage to improve relations with the US.”