Doctor Mariah Khan is the head of the women’s private banking section of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD.) According to her, the wealthy women of the region are smart and savvy investors whose wealth has been growing in recent years.
In the United Arab Emirates alone Khan says that women are involved in a large number and variety of sectors, from brokerages, banking, real estate, hotels and more, at an estimated value of Dhs 12 billion ($3.2 billion) that they control. According to the Boston Consulting Group the global wealth which women controlled in 2009 was valued at about $29.6 trillion, or 27 percent of the world’s wealth, up 16 percent from the year before. For the next coming years women’s wealth is most likely going to continue to rise at the astounding rate of 8 percent per annum on average.
Khan says that women are continuing to emerge as important partners in the development of every arena. As one example she cites the fact that nine women, or 20 percent, of the UAE’s Federal National Council are women. One report on women in business states that there are at least 13,000 women engaged in the business world in the UAE.
That being said, Khan does see several differences in the practices of businesswomen as compared to businessmen. Khan asserts that women tend to be more conservative borrowers. They are less emotional than men, and more calculating, contrary to what any stereotypes might have to say about it. They are less spontaneous and work better with facts, figures and making financial planning decisions, usually having a clear objective and more willing to take a long-term view of the investment process. Women also tend to put their family’s requirements before their own personal needs, and appreciate more building relationships, making them highly loyal as clients. Women mostly focus on the big investment picture rather than on unnecessary details, and are anxious to learn more about the most current market developments.