UAE Entrepreneurs on the Move as HSBC Study Unveils Second Highest International Expansion Rate Globally
Mokshita P.
10x Industry

UAE Entrepreneurs on the Move as HSBC Study Unveils Second Highest International Expansion Rate Globally

HSBC's Global Entrepreneurial Wealth Report reveals that entrepreneurs in the UAE are the second most likely to operate internationally, with 86 percent currently expanding abroad, led by factors such as location and pro-entrepreneurial policies.

In a recent survey conducted by HSBC for the Global Entrepreneurial Wealth Report 2023, entrepreneurs in the UAE emerged as the second most likely globally to operate internationally or be in the process of expanding abroad. Hong Kong claimed the top spot with 96 percent, while UAE entrepreneurs closely followed at 86 percent, surpassing their global counterparts.

The GEWR, which surveyed nearly 1,000 entrepreneurs across nine markets including the UAE, US, UK, India, Hong Kong, and mainland China, focused on individuals with investable assets ranging from US$2 million to over US$20 million. Notably, two-thirds of entrepreneurs in the UAE were found to have a family business background.

The study highlighted that UAE-based business owners exhibited a strong international outlook, with a majority eyeing Europe (55 percent) for expansion in the next three to five years. Other regions in their expansion radar included the Middle East (42 percent), North America (32 percent), and Asia (23 percent). Direct investments, real estate opportunities, and operational efficiency were identified as important factors influencing the decisions of wealthy entrepreneurs in the UAE regarding international growth.

Farzad Billimoria, Head of Global Private Banking, UAE, HSBC Middle East, commented on the findings, stating, "The country’s strategic location, pro-entrepreneurial policies, advanced infrastructure, and market access encourage global outreach and expansion, helping businesses secure profit margins and increase the customer base."

The report also highlighted that the UAE is home to the highest number of entrepreneurs globally, with 64 percent of respondents living a global life, maintaining a presence in a minimum of two and a maximum of six locations they call home. India followed closely behind in this trend.

Furthermore, 56 percent of UAE respondents expressed a desire for their wealth to be utilised for philanthropic causes and sustainable investing. Richard Van Der Meer, Head of Commercial Banking, UAE, HSBC Middle East, noted, "We are seeing this trend when talking to our clients, as corporates and family conglomerates in the UAE are increasingly expanding internationally."

However, the survey also revealed that almost one-third of wealthy individuals in the UAE have yet to discuss succession plans with their families, with 13 percent stating they do not plan on broaching the subject. HSBC, with its extensive network spanning over 50 markets, aims to support its clients' international growth plans amid this trend.