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Tue 28 May 2019 02:52 PM

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Upward social mobility rises in UAE

Brand View: Standard Chartered Emerging Affluent study reveals upbeat data on affluence in the UAE, but indicates plenty of room for improvement

Upward social mobility rises in UAE
Sonny Zulu is the managing director, Head of Retail Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, UAE.

The emerging affluent represent a tremendous opportunity for Standard Chartered as they account for more than 40 million people across our global footprint.

As a bank, we are well-positioned to play a positive role in helping them grow prosperity for themselves and their communities.

More than half of emerging affluent consumers in the UAE are experiencing upward social mobility, a new Standard Chartered study shows.

Our Emerging Affluent Study focussed on the views of 11,000 consumers from 11 markets across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The emerging affluent are those who earn enough to save and invest. The average figure for social mobility among the emerging affluent across the markets in the study is 59%, and of these 7% are experiencing supercharged social mobility relative to the previous generation and their peers.

The UAE’s socially mobile have had impressive earnings growth, with more than 42% enjoying a salary increase of 10% or more in the past year, and nearly a third seeing their earnings jump by at least 50% in the last five years. The emerging affluent are also better educated and have achieved higher levels of employment and home ownership than their parents – 85% attended university, compared to 63% of their fathers and 54% of their mothers.

More than three-quarters are in management positions or running their own businesses, and 91% are homeowners compared to 75% of their parents at the same age. Levels of optimism among the emerging affluent in the UAE are also especially high, with 73% believing they are in a better financial position than their parents.

The emerging affluent recognise that effective wealth management is the key to greater social mobility, with more than half of them (55%) investing in financial products which increase their wealth.

Among those with a limited or no investment strategy, 42% are aware of investment products but are unsure of which to choose, 36% are familiar with investment products but do not have the time to read market news and monitor their investments, and 19% expressed having little to no exposure to investment products.

When it comes to prioritising their financial goals, 43% of UAE’s emerging affluent rank their children’s education as their main priority, followed by purchasing an investment property (18%).

Although 57% of UAE’s emerging affluent have enjoyed great social mobility, opportunities remain for greater financial knowledge and inclusion. Nearly half (49%) of the emerging affluent feel restricted by their lack of financial knowledge, and 44% still use savings accounts as their primary investment option. These insights highlight significant opportunities for better wealth management and advisory services catering to the needs of the emerging affluent.

Financial institutions can leverage the outcomes of the Standard Chartered Emerging Affluent study to better understand the needs of this important segment and help them meet their dreams and ambitions.

Sonny Zulu is the managing director, Head of Retail Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, UAE.

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The content is supplied by Arabian Business Brand View Partners.

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