Crypto assets have strong demand in UAE; YouGov survey

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The UAE is showing a strong appetite for cryptocurrencies with nearly one in four respondents believing digital assets provide exciting investment opportunities, as per the results of a Holborn Assets-sponsored YouGov survey.

The survey sponsored by UAE-based leading financial services company Holborn Assets reveals that about 26 percent of the 1,000-plus respondents see cryptocurrencies as an interesting investment option while 45 percent seek more education before they invest.

When asked about asset allocation about 44 percent among 830 respondents said that they would feel comfortable with over 5 percent of their investment portfolio invested in cryptocurrencies in 2021, whereas for 18 percent of respondents the figure was more than 10 percent.  

“There is clearly growing demand for this new and enticing asset class, especially given the returns it can potentially offer investors. The survey results also highlight the strong interest locally in more education about cryptocurrencies as a precursor for making portfolio allocations,” said Stefan Terry, Global Senior Partner in the UAE office of Holborn Assets.

Demographic divide

The survey found interesting results across different sections of society in the UAE. For instance, a third of respondents in the 18-24 age group consider digital assets to be ‘exciting investment opportunities’, compared with 17 percent in the 45 and above age group. 

Meanwhile, only 10 percent of the youngest age group wants these assets to be heavily regulated, versus 17 percent for older investors. Only 12 percent of young respondents consider crypto assets to be a craze but among the 45 and above age group it rises to 20 percent. 

There are also some striking responses in terms of nationality. For example, Emiratis are the keenest group to invest in cryptocurrencies, at 33 percent when compared with Arab ex-pats (23 percent), Asian residents (24 percent) and Westerners (19 percent).

When asked about regulating digital assets only 7 percent of Emirati want it, whereas nearly one in four Western expats (24 percent) who responded to the survey chose this option.

There is also a marked gap in comfort levels among UAE investors when buying crypto assets. A third of Emirati respondents, for instance, said a 5-10 percent allocation would suit them, with 19 percent opting for a 0-2 percent holding.

For Western expats, by contrast, 51 percent of respondents said they would only allocate 0-2 percent to cryptocurrencies, and just 14 percent would be comfortable with a 5-10 percent allocation.

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