The UAE residents are estimated to be third richest in the Muslim world with per capita income of $49,600 (Dh182, 000), according to the latest study on Islamic finance and wealth management.
Qatar leads the Muslims world with per capita income of $79,000 followed by Brunei at $51,600, said Bank Sarasin’s report titled “The path to corporate transformation – converting a company to Islam”.
According to International Monetary Fund’s estimate UAE’s per capita income was Dh178, 351 ($48,597) in 2011, making its residents the sixth-richest in the world.
“Personal income across the Muslim world varies substantially. With the Muslim world having as many disparate parts as a mosaic has tiles, market complexities present huge challenges. But many of these markets are simply too big to ignore. For example, there are an estimated 140 million Muslims in India, 40 million in China, 14-20 million in Russia, 10-13 million in the US and about 30 million in the European Union,” Bank Sarasin’s analysts said in the report.
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries dominate the top list with Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia ranked fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Kuwait’s per capital stood at $48,900, Bahrain at $40,300, Oman at $25,600 and Saudi at $24,200, Bank Sarasin said.
According to the report, citizens of Bangladesh, Sudan and Pakistan have the lowest income among the Muslim countries. Per capital income in Bangladeshi was estimated at $1,700, Sudan at $2,300 and Pakistan at $2,500.
Calls for unified GCC regulations
The report also called for the GCC to take a leadership role by establishing standards for the registration of Islamic investment products with one regulator. This would allow asset managers to market products to clients across the Gulf without the lengthy and costly registration process now required since products must now comply with different regulations in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE.
The report also noted the leadership demonstrated by Malaysia, not only in terms of Islamic finance, but with regard to halal production.