UAE expat investor risk aversion survey gives interesting results

Published:  12 Dec at 6 PM
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New research on UAE expats’ investment preferences has identified professionals from the UK are the least likely group to take chances with their savings.

The survey, undertaken by an international insurance company and a local investment management firm, identified the highest risk-aversion attitude to investment as a British preference. Across the entire UAE expat community, a full 48 per cent of UK expats stated they were risk-averse, as against an overall 32 per cent internationally. Expats from the USA were in line with the average, against 21 per cent of European savers working in the region.

Interestingly, workers from the UK, USA and Europe displayed differing opinions as to when their investments needed to be reviewed by their advisors. European expat involvement with individual portfolios on a monthly or quarterly basis came out at 79 per cent, with Americans at 58 per cent and Brits at just 53 per cent. Risk-taking also varied between emirates, with Dubai expats the most adventurous at 32 per cent, followed by those in Abu Dhabi at 22 per cent. As regards risk-aversion, 39 per cent of Abu Dhabi investors took the stance against 26 per cent in Dubai as a whole. UK savers seem to be the most sensible, given the volatility of the markets in addition to regular warnings of investor fraud in expat hubs worldwide.

Meanwhile, a new law in Oman concerning free medical treatment for government-employed expats may result in expat savings being restricted in favour of private heath insurance. The new rules deny expats free treatment for a wide range of conditions varying from chronic to life-threatening. The new rules came into effect early this month and cover both part-time and permanent expat employees.

Conditions no longer covered include open-heart surgery and heart disease, MS, metabolic diseases, hepatitis, all cancers, genetic blood diseases, dialysis, organ transplants, Alzheimer’s, some mental problems, addiction and more. Prescription medicines and treatments also excluded are insulin, pre-dialysis medicines and those for rheumatoid arthritis. Getting sick in this emirate seems now to be a lottery with health insurance companies the only winners.
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