Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Younger Arabs invest in equity markets, tech and Islamic finance

Arabs invest Unsplash
71% of the rich young Arab investors surveyed said they wanted to actively participate in the long-term growth of equity markets
  • Wealthy Arab youth believe equity markets will continue to perform well
  • 89% of young investors keep all money within Middle East
  • Islamic and sustainable investing are also high on priority list

Nearly three-quarters of rich young Arabs believe equity markets will continue to perform well and are actively planning to invest, with regional entities, Islamic finance, technology and sustainability their key priorities.

Geneva-headquartered global wealth and asset management company Lombard Odier surveyed around 200 high net worth individuals with assets of at least $1 million across the Middle East.

Some 71 percent said they believed that equity markets will continue to rise, and they would like to actively participate in their long-term growth.

This comes as no surprise as, in the first 10 months of this year, the Gulf’s main bourses have bucked global trends and remained positive.

The Saudi Exchange has been up 3.4 percent year-on-year, Bahrain up 3.8 percent, Dubai up 4.3 percent, Oman up 5.7 percent, Qatar up 6.8 percent, Kuwait up 7.2 percent, and Abu Dhabi up 22.7 percent year-on-year.

By comparison, the MSCI World Index has fallen 21.2 percent over the same period, and the Emerging Markets MSCI Index is down 31.2 percent year-on-year. 

In terms of corporate earnings, listed GCC companies saw profits for the first three quarters of the year up almost a quarter to reach $70.7 billion.

The Lombard Odier survey found that 79 percent of respondents said they see “significant opportunities” in the digital and technology sectors. 

Young investors are also inward focused. Some 89 percent of respondents said their investments are all within the Middle East, with 86 percent saying they expect this to remain the case for the next three to five years.

Of the 11 percent who do invest their wealth outside the Middle East, 5 percent target Europe, 4 percent North America and 2 percent the Asia Pacific region.

In terms of where they put their money, Shariah-compliant and Islamic investments were popular with 91 percent of young investors, while sustainability was classed as a key factor for 88 percent.

“Islamic finance has proven its resilience against the worst of situations,” one unnamed young Saudi investor was quoted as saying.

With many GCC countries aiming to be net-zero in the coming decades, 73 percent believed they can achieve improved returns by investing in companies or ventures that will support the drive towards a net-zero economy.

“The next generation’s enthusiasm for Islamic and sustainable investing, and their keenness to work with expert financial advisors who share their values, is encouraging,” said Arnaud Leclercq, partner holding privé and head of new markets at Lombard Odier.

“We also observed a keen focus on regional investing, highlighting the sheer opportunity the Middle East offers for maintaining and accumulating greater wealth.” 

Latest articles

Waste To Energy Biogas plant with solar, battery station and E-car charging station

African renewables are ripe for investment, says Irena

Africa accounted for less than 1 percent of the new renewable energy sources added globally last year, and a conference in Abu Dhabi this week called on wealthy investors to help the continent achieve its targets. Amani Abu Zeid, commissioner for infrastructure and energy of the African Union Commission, told the International Renewable Energy Agency […]

Saudi Arabia Ronnie O'Sullivan snooker

Ronnie O’Sullivan to be Saudi snooker ambassador

Saudi Arabia has signed a deal with the world’s top snooker player, Ronnie O’Sullivan, for him to act as an “ambassador” for the sport in Saudi Arabia.  It was announced alongside news that Saudi Arabia has become an official sponsor of the World Snooker Championship that begins this weekend in Sheffield, UK. Under the three-year […]

UAE Costa Rica Cepa

Costa Rica added to UAE economic partners

The UAE has signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with Costa Rica, the latest in a string of trade deals around the world over the past two years. It is the first time the South American country has signed an agreement with a Middle Eastern country. The agreement will improve trade flows between the two […]

A man wades through a flooded street in Dubai. Some areas of the UAE received more than a year's worth of rain in one day Video length: 03:08

UAE president orders review after flooding

The UAE’s president, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has ordered an urgent review of the country’s infrastructure after historic levels of rainfall brought the Gulf state to a standstill, with some areas seeing more than a year’s worth of rain in one day. The president has contacted authorities “to quickly work on studying the […]