The Unbiased Guide to Expat Investing in UAE

Several factors make the United Arab Emirates an appealing investment destination. The main reasons for this include the government’s support of small and medium-sized businesses, the business environment’s flexibility and the economy’s sustainability. And the ongoing updating of laws and processes according to global standards for creating the best environment possible for economic success.

Both expats and foreigners outside of the UAE can choose from a wide range of investment opportunities. Real estate is blooming in the UAE. And there are wonderful investment opportunities in sustainable real estate.

Additionally, the legislation provides excellent protection for investments made in the country. When considering investing in the region, this article can give you all the basic information required in this context.

Investment in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates has a simple investment process and a supportive legal, financial, and regulatory atmosphere. The country is an investor-friendly stable hub because it has one of the world’s most free economies. While also being a corporate culture that values international trade.

The second-largest economy in the Gulf saw USD 10.3B in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2018, mostly going into manufacturing, real estate, banking, and insurance.

The number of asset types available to foreigners looking to invest in the UAE is rising, giving them more options for accumulating wealth.

There are investment choices to fit any risk profile, from stock market trading to real estate acquisition, funds, private pension schemes, and savings accounts.

Additionally, Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah are significant cities for investment as well. Thus Dubai is one of many important cities in the region where everything occurs.

The UAE government is working to diversify its economy, which benefits the growth of the private sector and lessens the country’s reliance on the shaky oil and fuel industry.

The nation draws investments in various industries to diversify its economy, including manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, renewable energy, scientific research, and innovative technology.

Positive Industrial Plans

For the nation’s growth, the government is implementing several initiatives to increase FDI. The UAE recently unveiled a new industrial plan to boost the industrial sector’s contribution from AED 133 billion to AED 300 billion ($81 billion) during the following decade.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed stated that the program’s objective is to quadruple the industrial sector’s GDP contribution while raising the nation’s value.

The investment advantages of the UAE for assuring sustainable economic development following the COVID-19 epidemic provide the foundation for the effort.

Creation of an Investment Plan

The investor creates either a company strategy or a personal investment plan based on the direction of the financial investments.

The first instance discusses the elements required for successful investment in business ventures and initiatives, whereas the second case identifies the objectives, procedures, and resources for personal acquisition.

Investment Business Plan

It is vital to create an investment strategy with a detailed explanation of the project where the money would be put before investing in any commercial business.

The core concept of investments, the justification for their viability, costs, and the amount of revenue they would yield from the real investment are also included in the plan.

Some issues that should be addressed in a well-drafted investment strategy include the following:

  • What is the direction and the aim of this activity?
  • What would the earnings and costs be?
  • What techniques would be employed to meet investment objectives?
  • Who would be in charge of carrying out investment activities?
  • What hazards on the financial and economic side might there be?

Personal Investment Plan

Any investor should create a personal investment strategy before making any investments. This plan should clearly state the investment goals, design, and instruments needed to attain them.

Each investor’s investment strategy is built to their specific needs.

However, every personal approach should have components like:

  • Clear investment objectives
  • Investment methods
  • Sources of investment capital
  • Possible risks

Preparation, which includes evaluating the investor’s financial situation and getting things in order financially, is a crucial step before developing and implementing an investment strategy.

It is important to note that investors cannot invest borrowed money.

The investor has to complete all loans and build a financial “safety buffer” before allocating cash for investments. Building a cash reserve is a need for investment as, in the event of unanticipated circumstances for the investor, it is undesirable to withdraw invested assets or utilize borrowed funds.

Savings Account Investments in the UAE

A type of bank account called a savings account enables investors to make money while keeping their money secure. These accounts in the UAE provide interest rates based on the money investors have placed.

Various banks around the nation offer multiple interest rates. Certain banks in the country, including Emirates NBD or CBI Bank, provide a free debit card and checkbook as advantages of opening savings accounts.

Investors must keep a certain amount in their savings account, often about AED 3,000 (or US $816). ADCB and ADIB are two banks in the UAE that provide savings accounts with no minimum balances.

For opening a savings account where money may be withdrawn, deposited, and transferred at any time, investors could visit the local branch of any bank in the United Arab Emirates or apply online.

The documents required to open a bank account are as follows:

  • Residents: Emirates ID, passport, and resident visa
  • Non-residents: Bank statement, access of the applicant, and proof of address

It is important to ensure that you are informed of any potential costs and all the terms and conditions associated before you open a bank account in the country.

Local banks in the country provide foreigners with a wide range of savings accounts at competitive interest rates, including conventional and Sharia-compliant choices. It is assumed that the bank follows Islamic values in the latter situation.

If a depositor registers this kind of account, the bank will pay the profit produced on the savings deposits rather than paying interest on the savings.

The top savings accounts in the UAE banks are as follows:

  • Emirates NBD Savings Account
  • ADIB Smart Banking Account
  • ADCB Active Saver Account
  • RAKBANK Savings Account
  • CBI Saver Account

How to Invest Wisely In the UAE

Immigrants in the UAE have a wide range of alternatives for investing their savings and hard-earned income. You should adequately research your options and consider using a financial planner or consultant to evaluate your present financial status. This covers elements like your goals and time frames.

You may then decide what is best for your investment portfolio. Investing in the UAE could differ from your previous experiences. You can achieve realistic goals while researching and learning about the market.

Factors to Consider When Investing In the UAE

  • What foreigners or immigrant residents have access to investment opportunities?
  • How reliable are the laws governing foreign investment in the United Arab Emirates?
  • What kind of protection is afforded to foreign investors in the UAE?
  • Are there any incentives (such as subsidies or loans) to entice foreign investment?
  • How might the geopolitical climate in the area impact the economy in the UAE?
  • Is the political environment in the region stable?
  • Is the exchange rate steady in the country?
  • What is the banking and financial system’s level of development?


Although the whole process could seem difficult, it will become rather simple after you have set up the accounts and made a few money transfers. A transfer would not require even half an hour, and you should strive to invest monthly or at least quarterly.

Thus, now that you know how to invest as an expat, you can start investing immediately. To boost your confidence, experiment with little sums, such as USD 1,000.