UAE’s Gen Z Favors Crypto Investments, While Gold Retains Its Sheen with Emiratis and Asians


In a rapidly evolving financial landscape, the investment preferences of different age groups in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have come under the spotlight, revealing a stark contrast between the younger generation’s enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies and the enduring appeal of traditional investments like gold among Emiratis and Asians.

A recent survey conducted by the International Financial Group Ltd (IFGL), an advisory firm based in the Isle of Man, shed light on the investment choices of UAE residents, particularly those aged 18 to 24. The findings indicated a notable shift towards digital currencies, with one in ten respondents expressing a preference for cryptocurrencies.

Emiratis, in particular, exhibited a strong inclination towards digital assets, making up the majority of those showing interest in cryptocurrencies. The survey also unveiled a gender divide in investment preferences, with 12% of male respondents favoring cryptocurrencies compared to 6% of females.

Interestingly, the investment landscape for young investors in the UAE is diverse. While crypto investments were popular among males, they also showed a keen interest in traditional assets such as properties, commodities, and fixed-rate deposits. On the other hand, female investors leaned towards national bonds as their preferred investment option.

The survey showcased mutual funds as an equally favored choice alongside cryptocurrencies, both slightly ahead of those who preferred exchange-traded funds (ETFs). However, the enduring allure of traditional investments, notably gold and property, was evident, holding the top spot for both Emiratis and Asians at 24%.

Simon Barwell, IFGL’s Marketing Director, cautioned investors against adopting overly risky strategies. He emphasized the importance of building a diversified portfolio with different risk and return profiles. Barwell highlighted the historical volatility of cryptocurrencies and the illiquidity of property investments, advising investors to consider a balanced strategy that includes equities and bonds, both locally and overseas.

Age emerged as a significant factor influencing investment preferences among expats, with those aged 35 to 44 preferring to invest in properties in their home countries. Meanwhile, individuals aged 25 to 34 exhibited a preference for purchasing property within the UAE.

As the financial landscape in the UAE continues to evolve, the survey underscores the dynamic nature of investment choices, with Gen Z embracing cryptocurrencies while traditional investments like gold remain steadfast pillars for many Emiratis and Asians. Balancing risk and diversification will likely be key for investors navigating this multifaceted market.

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