With Christmas just around the corner, we thought it would be a good time to reflect on everything that Your POA was a part of this past quarter. Amongst some very exciting developments that we will be sharing with you in the near future, perhaps one of the most memorable events that we attended was the Wealth Arabia Summit (W.A.S).
The event brought together a blend of high net worth individuals, family offices, real estate and angel investors, entrepreneurs, senior investment executives, wealth/asset managers and private bankers, to discuss all things investment. This year, three new forums were introduced as well as a larger exhibition space including a main stage with six keynote presentations on vital trends shaping the investment space, followed by the Women’s investment Forum, the Real Estate Forum and the Family Affairs Streams.
The Summit was a good opportunity to understand any concerns investors have regarding the volatility that is currently characterizing the U.A.E market, learn of new market trends and network with other noteworthy people in the industry.
There were quite a few topics that peaked our interest during the summit; the “opening” of Saudi Arabia and what it means for investors and businesses in the GCC, increasing the number of women investors in the U.A.E and how to start an investment portfolio for your children, to name a few. The team’s favorite presentation by far, was the one regarding family and succession planning.
For years inheritance matters in the U.A.E were always determined by Sharia law—for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The introduction of the DIFC Wills Service Center in 2015 was groundbreaking in that it allowed registered non-Muslims to be judged according to Common Law for the first time.
A rather recent extension of their services is the introduction of something called “Waqf”— a trust fund aimed at protecting the assets and preserving the family wealth of Muslims. Essentially, in a Waqf, the legal and beneficial ownership of assets are separated such that the primary owner of the asset transfers legal ownership of it to the trustee for the benefit of the beneficiaries. There are three types of trust services: Personal trust, Corporate Trust & Charitable trust.
The introduction of establishments like the DIFC Wills Service Center and services like the Waqf is exciting in that it showcases how the U.A.E is becoming increasingly flexible with its legislature and evolving with the times.
Looking forward to seeing you there next year!