USD40 billion in retail investor capital could be mobilised to combat climate change in the UAE


Standard Chartered’s latest Sustainable Banking Report 2023 reveals USD40 billion of retail investor capital could be mobilised towards climate investments in the UAE by 2030.

The research – based on investor interest from a survey of 1,800 respondents in 10 growth markets across AsiaAfrica and the Middle East – identifies a global potential of USD3.4 trillion for climate investing, highlighting the power of individuals to combat climate change.

Within climate investing in the UAE, USD23 billion could flow into mitigation themes – energy storage, energy efficiency and renewables are set to attract the most capital. USD17 billion could be mobilised towards adaptation including resilient infrastructure, food systems and the blue economy.

The survey shows 93% of investors in the UAE are interested in climate investing, and 87% of them want to increase capital flows towards climate. They are mainly motivated by making a positive impact and personal values when making such investments.

However, multiple barriers, which vary by investor segments, are holding them back from translating their interest into investment.

Investor segment

Barriers to mitigation investment

Barriers to adaptation investment


Accessibility (75%)
Comprehensibility (68%)
Perceived low returns (68%)

Comparability (72%)
Scepticism (70%)
Comprehensibility (63%)

High-Net-Worth (HNW)

Accessibility (77%)
Perceived higher risks (69%)
Comprehensibility (67%)

Comprehensibility (79%)
Scepticism (71%)
Perceived low returns (71%)

Next Generation  HNW

Accessibility (81%)
Comparability (72%)
Scepticism (66%)

Perceived low returns (72%)
Accessibility (69%)
Perceived higher risks (69%)

The industry needs to help investors overcome these barriers to unlock the potential of retail capital. Financial institutions, regulators, companies and individuals must make a concerted effort to establish a wider range of climate assets to drive greater retail participation.

Asset managers and banks must also work to innovate new climate assets to match emerging investor interests, such as biodiversity and the blue economy. Financial institutions have a critical role to play in mobilising retail capital via three pillars – empowering investors with information, product customisation and outcome-based information. Digital and fintech solutions will play an enabling role and simplify processes for investors.

The industry across the world also needs to align reporting standards and mandate minimum disclosure requirements to boost investor confidence.

Rola Abu Manneh, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered, UAE, said: “As the host of the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP28) and the first country in the Middle East to pledge to achieve Net Zero by 2050, the UAE can lead the region in combating climate change, especially since it is characterized by a favourable regulatory environment that helps in the growth of businesses and economic sectors. This constitutes an attractive point for global financial institutions that aim to develop financial products and solutions dedicated to confronting climate change. Recognising this opportunity, Standard Chartered collaborates closely with institutional and individual clients across the country to strategically align their businesses and investments to their areas of interest, especially those related to sustainability, therefore empowering our clients to actively contribute to the nations’ Net Zero goals.”


Standard Chartered and Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism sign Cooperation Agreement to promote business opportunities between Hong Kong and Dubai


Standard Chartered announced the signing of a Cooperation Agreement with Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism to jointly promote business growth and development opportunities between Hong Kong and Dubai.

The Agreement was signed by Mary Huen, Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong, Standard Chartered, and Hadi Badri, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Economic Development Corporation, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism.

According to the Agreement, Standard Chartered Hong Kong and the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism will deepen cooperation on a range of strategic areas between Hong Kong and Dubai, including:

  • promoting the growth of capital market activities, family offices, asset management, fintech and virtual asset industries;
  • developing innovative sustainable and green financing solutions;
  • developing innovative solutions to support trade and commodity financing for imports, exports and re-exports; and
  • promoting incubation and development of start-ups and new technology-based service providers that develop cutting edge technology-based solutions for banking, financial, investment and capital market transactions.

Standard Chartered and the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism will also set up a joint working group to discuss about how to achieve these objectives.

Rola Abu Manneh, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered, UAE, said: “In this era of global connectivity, our partnership with the Dubai Economic Development Corporation marks a significant milestone for us. We are committed to facilitating seamless banking services to organisations and investors within the UAE-Hong Kong corridor. This Memorandum of Understanding not only fosters trade and liquidity but also underscores our dedication to promoting sustainable finance while leveraging our extensive global network to connect businesses and individuals across both sides of the corridor to opportunities worldwide.”

Hadi Badri, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Economic Development Corporation, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism added: “By joining forces with partners like Standard Chartered we aim to create cross-border platforms to accelerate opportunities for trade and innovation exchange across the fastest growing economies in the world. Building on Dubai’s position as a gateway to the wider Middle EastAfrica and beyond; the agreement gives companies from across Asia access to a wealth of resources and expertise to reinforce their expansion and growth plans. We look forward to working closely with our partners at Standard Chartered to help their clients and customers set up successful operations in Dubai.”

To share insights on how global businesses can capture the opportunities arising from the increasing connectivity between China and the Middle East, Standard Chartered held a panel discussion at the Belt and Road Summit organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (“HKTDC”). Speakers included Hadi Badri, CEO, Dubai Economic Development Corporation, DET, Benjamin Hung, CEO, Asia, Standard CharteredDr Patrick Lau, Deputy Executive Director, HKTDCH.E. Hussain Mohammed Al Mahmoudi, CEO, Sharjah Research Technology & Innovation Park, Rola Abu Manneh, CEO, UAE, Standard Chartered, and Karen Ng, Head, China Opening & RMB Internationalisation, Standard Chartered. Around 200 business and finance leaders joined the event and witnessed the exchange of the Agreement by Mary Huen and Hadi Badri.

Standard Chartered

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Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges.

The history of Standard Chartered in Hong Kong dates back to 1859. It is currently one of the Hong Kong SAR’s three note-issuing banks. Standard Chartered incorporated its Hong Kong business on 1 July 2004, and now operates as a licensed bank in Hong Kong under the name of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered PLC.

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Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism

Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism is the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development and marketing of Dubai’s key economic sectors. The department is responsible for the full spectrum of services from economic development, licensing and classification to marketing and promotion of the key economic sectors. Through collaboration and partnership with both public and private sector entities, the department promotes Dubai’s vision and develops strategies to attract tourists, talent and inward investment.