Why Financial Planning?

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it NOW.

Dreaming of prosperous investments in the UAE? Unlock the secrets to financial success with our comprehensive guide tailored specifically for NRIs. From lucrative opportunities to strategic insights, embark on your journey to wealth creation in the dynamic landscape of the UAE.

The UAE ranks among the top 10 expat destinations when it comes to quality of life, salary, and career prospects. But it was ranked 41st in the 53 countries surveyed in the personal finance category. This category considered three factors – satisfaction with the financial situation, general cost of living, and whether a respondent’s disposable household income is enough to lead a comfortable life.


Must Read – NRI Investment Options

Achieving financial independence is essential for everyone and it involves creating a solid financial plan and taking steps to execute it. Considering the personal finance situation in UAE, financial planning becomes especially crucial for expats else their personal finances can go awry. Investment planning is a critical part of achieving success with your financial plan. In this blog, we explore the various investment avenues in the UAE and information on how to invest as an expat.

Investing in the stock market

There are three stock exchanges in the UAE:

  • Dubai Financial Market (DFM)
  • NASDAQ Dubai
  • Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).

You would need to open a brokerage account with a stockbroker to get access to any of these stock exchanges. You can click here for a list of brokers associated with the Dubai Financial Market. Typically, the documents required would be your passport, National ID, and proof of residence. You will also have to obtain an Investor Number (available from the Investor Services Desk at the exchanges) to trade on DFM and ADX.

Expats in the UAE can invest in stocks in other international markets by opening a brokerage account with an international broker. The process to open an account would be similar in most of them. The key factors to look out for are commission charged, minimum deposit and account opening process.

Investing in stocks involves risk and it is important that you invest based on careful research and analysis and an understanding of your risk profile.


Must Read – How to open an NRI account in UAE

Investing in Mutual Funds

Mutual funds in the UAE can be broadly classified into two categories: local and international. Local mutual funds invest in local securities available on DFM, ADX, or NASDAQ Dubai.

In addition, there are international mutual funds that invest in securities in international exchanges like the NYSE and NASDAQ.

NRI can invest in mutual funds in different ways:

  • Through the asset management company
  • Online through website
  • Online through the app
  • Through a UAE bank like HSBC, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Emirates NBD, etc.
  • Through a brokerage firm like SAXO or Interactive Brokers

Investing in mutual funds is a good option to diversify your investment portfolio, increase your liquidity and get professionals to manage your investments.

Must Read – NRI Invest in Mutual Fund in India

National Bonds

National Bonds offers products for investing money that are comparatively less risky as compared to stocks and mutual funds. As an investor, you can buy bonds and sell them as per your needs. You will also receive interest. The interest rate varies from year to year, and the returns are usually better than those from bank accounts. The organization also offers gift vouchers.

Anyone older than 21 years of age is eligible to buy National Bonds. Parents or trustees can purchase these bonds on behalf of minors. The ownership can be transferred once they become adults. The bonds can be purchased on the website, post offices and other locations. The minimum investment requirement is 100 AED.

Investors looking at safer investment alternatives can consider National bonds. They can also be part of the debt portion of the investment portfolio.


Must Read- How Can NRI Invest in Mutual Fund in India?

Real Estate

The UAE stands out as a stable country that provides a secure environment for property. The favourable investment climate, consistent economic growth forecasts for the next five years and increasing investor confidence in the real estate market makes it an attractive property investment destination. The value of real estate (residential and commercial) is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2028) of 3 percent.

Some factors that you need to consider before investing in real estate are:

  • Investment Purpose and Investment Horizon
  • Real estate market
  • Personal financial situation
  • Extent of leverage.
  • Property details
  • Extent to indirect investments in real estate.
  • Your credit score

While real estate has traditionally been considered a sound investment, evaluate the pros and cons of the investment for your portfolio before making a decision.


There is no personal income tax in the UAE. You will not have to pay capital gains tax on the profits earned on sale of real estate or securities. Rental income is taxed at 5% (except in Abu Dhabi, where there is no municipal tax on rented premises. Real estate owners, however, must pay license fees.


UAE expats have multiple options to invest and grow their wealth in the UAE. It might be prudent to avail the services of a financial planner who can understand your financial situation and has relevant experience in the markets in the UAE.

Success in personal finance requires a long-term perspective and patience. Create an investment portfolio based on market information, your financial situation, financial goals, and risk profile. Remember to review your investment portfolio regularly. This approach can help you have a prosperous financial future as an expat in the UAE.

Published on April 12, 2024

Hemant Beniwal

Hemant Beniwal is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and his Company Ark Primary Advisors Pvt Ltd is registered as an Investment Adviser with SEBI. Hemant is also a member of the Financial Planning Association, U.S.A and registered as a life planner with Kinder Institute of Life Planning, U.S.A. He started his Financial Planning Practice in 2009 & is among the first generation of financial planners in India. He also authored Bestseller book "Financial Life Planning". 

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Related Posts

    How can NRIs Impact Social Development in India?
    Best NRI Investment Options in India – Top 10 Investment Option in 2024
    NRI Checklist : 8 Essential Things to Complete Before Becoming NRI
    TOP 6 Best Places To Retire In India – For NRIs

    Subscribe now to get the latest NRI updates!

    Share via
    Copy link