The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has encouraged investment by creating a business-minded legal, regulatory and financial environment with a stable, free economy and low tax regime.
An expanding range of asset classes offer ample opportunities to build wealth, from real estate to private pension schemes, investment funds and more opportunities to suit nearly every risk profile.
It’s no small wonder that the UAE is home to some of the largest and most reputable investment and asset management companies in the world, including:
1.Dubai Investment Fund
The Dubai Investment Fund is a private, independent asset management and investment company established in 2001, with 17 offices around the globe and more than 920 investment professionals managing financial resources for over 7300 private and institutional investors. The Dubai Investment Fund is designed to operate at the highest level of global investment, adhering to strict commercial and financial disciplines, with extensive experience in various economic sectors, including healthcare, technology, retail, real estate and media in all major global markets. The company is focused on delivering sustainable returns from diverse global assets, following proven investment strategies and backed by a focus on local development and ecosystem expansion.
The Dubai Investment Fund was one of the first to introduce a digital platform where clients and investors could access market analytics and track performance. The firm embraced the tech industry and invested in stocks and owns stakes in industry leaders, including Salesforce, Cisco, Adobe and SAP, while launching their first Artificial Intelligence lab in Dubai in 2016.
The DIF’s current focus is on sustainable investment, renewables and green energy sectors. There are more than $320 billion in assets under their management.
2.CITI Investment Bank
CITI Investment Bank is known for providing global financial services, including wealth management and investment banking. Founded in 1821, it’s one of the oldest banking and asset management companies in the world. The first branch in Dubai opened in 1964 and today, their network spans over 98 different global markets. The company operates in two primary segments, Institutional Clients Groups (ICG) and Global Consumer Banking (GCB), and has over $250 billion in assets under their management.
3. Crescent Enterprise
Crescent Enterprise operates across four platforms, Crescent Enterprise Operates, Crescent Enterprise Invest, Crescent Enterprise Ventures and Crescent Enterprise Creates. The firm operates across a variety of sectors, including power and engineering, ports and logistics, business aviation, health care and more. Their real estate subsidiary, Crescent Real Estate Company manages assets including shopping malls and hotels.
The Group holds over 3 million square meters of commercial space in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Egypt and Bahrain, including office buildings and residential communities.
4. Al Fajer Enterprises
Al Fajer Enterprises provides investment services, real estate, finance and banking, founded and owned by Sheikh Hasher bin Maktoum Al Maktoum in 2005. The company has over 18,000 employees and an annual group turnover of AED 5.8 billion, using cutting-edge strategies and advanced technology to deliver returns. The company is integral to hundreds of prestigious private and public sectors, with subsidiary companies focused on trading, manufacturing, travel, tourism and information.
Al-Fajer has handled over 6000 projects, has 5000 clients and has received more than 100 awards for their work.
Founded in 1979, SHUAA Capital is a leading investment and asset management firm in UAE, managing more than $1 billion assets for their clients and a range of financial products and services, including fixed income, equity and commodities.
Their network of partners are based across the Middle East and North Africa, with a presence in Europe and offices in Beirut, Lebanon, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Jordan. The company grew exponentially following a large merger with Abu Dhabi Financial Group in 2016, managing more than $14 billion in assets. Fawad Tariq Khan replaced acting CEO Jassim Alseddiqi in 2022.
6.KAMCO Investment Company
A subsidiary of United Gulf Bank, KAMCO Investment has a significant presence in the UAE through their Dubai International Financial Center, which opened in 2016. The company was listed on the Bursa Kuwait in 2003 and is a significant financial service provider, building an extensive track record in markets like investment banking, asset management, equity research and brokerage. Their investment banking arm has closed $29.2 billion in successful transactions while their asset management arm is managing more than $14.6 billion in assets.
7. Emirates Islamic Bank
Emirates Islamic Bank is a specialized investment and asset management firm based in Dubai. Founded in 2004 by the UAE Central Bank, their initial focus was on the Islamic banking sector but they have since expanded their operations to include various economic sectors and services, including property development and retailing. They manage the assets of several institutions within the UAE, including Investcorp, the Dubai Islamic bank, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and more. They offer some of the broadest products designed for individuals, small business operations and large corporations and one of the four leading Islamic financial services institutions in Dubai. Banking services are delivered in line with Sharia law.
8.Emirates NBD Asset Management
Emirates NBD is one of the largest banking groups in the Middle East. It was founded by ruler Sheik Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in 1963 as the National Bank of Dubai, before merging with Emirates Bank International in 2007.
Emirates NBD is nimble, with a diverse array of Sharia-compliant and conventional funds. The company controls over $6.1 billion in assets under management.
9. Al Khair Capital
Al Khair Capital is a leading asset and investment company that manages over $3 billion in assets and provides tailored Sharia compliant Islamic investment services to shareholders and clients across the Middle East and abroad. Their skills include investment management and funds, private equity, capital markets, corporate finance and brokerage, while also dealing in various stock exchanges (DFM, ADX, Tadawul).
10.Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank is based in Abu Dhabi and carries out their operations in line with Sharia principles. They are the fourth largest Islamic bank in the world, with assets totalling $37 billion. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank has a large distribution network and a presence in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar and Sudan.
The Big 10: Investment and Asset Management Firms in UAE